Archbishop Eamon Martin, Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Archbishop Richard Clarke, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh, have launched a new ‘Flesh and Blood Ireland’ (FaB) campaign in order to mobilise the Churches to help increase the number of blood and organ donors throughout the country. The launch took place at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh.
Welcoming the donation initiative Archbishop Eamon said, “The FaB campaign calls on all of us to recognise the importance of being an organ or blood donor, and it challenges us to recognise the need to respond with an act of generosity and love. It aims to raise the profile of donation within our Churches and encourages donation as a personal gift.”
People who have given or received blood or organs in the past, and those who have lost love ones as a result of a lack of blood or organ donation, were in attendance at the launch in Armagh.
The Flesh and Blood campaign will have its Dublin launch on Friday 6 March at 4:00pm in Saint Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral. This will be followed by Choral Evensong at 5.30pm.
Dr Eddie Rooney, chair of the Northern Ireland Committee for blood donation has said that, in Northern Ireland and the Republic, around 800 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant with 96,000 people receiving blood transfusions every year. According to the Irish Blood Transfusion Board only 3% of the Irish population gives blood. 3,000 blood donors are needed each week in Ireland, while one in four people will need a blood transfusion at some point in their lives. Over 1,000 Irish people receive transfusions every week in Ireland. Approximately 70,000 patients will have transfusions in Irish hospitals this year. A unit of blood lasts for just 35 days. There are currently 650 patients awaiting transplantation. One donor can potentially help nine other people.