KERRY’S RED BLOODED LIFE SAVERS
BLOOD DONORS ARE INCREASINGLY IN SHORT SUPPLY BUT THESE KERRY DONORS ARE CERTAINLY BUCKING THE TREND
“I STARTED donating around 37 or 38 years ago, and it came about by accident really. I was visiting my late sister in Rathmore and as I was leaving for home she said to me ‘Where are you going? The blood transfusion crowd are in the community hall across the way, so we might as well go in and donate.’ I thought for a minute and then I said: ‘Sure why not?’”
Over 100 donations later, Noel Dennehy of Barraduff couldn’t speak more highly of the gift of giving blood.
On Sunday night at the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork, he and another Killarney man called James Dennehy (no relation) were both honoured by the Munster Regional Centre of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service for having given more than 100 donations each.
The event celebrated over 135 prolific blood donors from across the province, including 18 Kerry donors from Abbeydorney, Beaufort, Cahir- siveen, Killarney, Killorglin, Milltown, and Tralee.
Most of those generous recipients have donated over 50 times, but the Dennehy men from Killarney have set a particularly incredible standard.
“I’ve given 102 donations now, and you give a bit less than a pint each time,” Noel told The Kerryman. “I’d actually know James, the other man who got an award for giving more than the hundred, just from meeting him at blood drives; you get to know people through it all!
“I suppose it’s worth remembering that you’d never know what difference it could make to someone’s life and for that reason, I will keep donating,” he added.
That’s a point worth remembering. It’s estimated that one in four people will need a transfusion at some point, so it’s hard to think of a more precious gift than the kind donated by James and Noel on more than 100 occasions.
“All I’d like to say to the young people is to start going, because once you start you’ll keep it up and it can make a mighty difference,” Noel added. “My wife Eileen also has over 80 donations given, and we’ll keep donating for as long as we’ll be able to!”
MAIN: Noel Dennehy, Killarney, who has made over 100 blood donations. INSET: James Dennehy, Killarney, 100 donations; Noel Dennehy, Killarney, 100 donations; Catherine Brosnan, Killarney, 50 donations; and Brian O’Shea, Kilorglin, 50 donations.