Thursday, November 03, 2022

By Pat Costello

AN initiative by intercounty players and staff across all Gaelic Games codes in Kildare in supporting the Blood Transfusion Service begins on Thursday a a Special Clinic in Sarsfields GAA.


Kildare Manager, Glenn Ryan, leads an initiative for Kildare intercounty players and management teams to give blood on Thursday Photo: Sean Brilly

This initiative originated with the Kildare Senior Football Team but they were quickly joined and supported by the Kildare Senior Hurling Team, Kildare Senior Camogie Team, and the Kildare Senior Ladies Football Team.

With the support of the four county management teams and Kildare GAA, Kildare LGFA and Kildare Camogie, a special clinic has been arranged, so that inter county players and management, when eligible, can become blood donors. This clinic runs on 3 November in Sarsfields GAA club, Newbridge.

The intercounty players, management teams and staff are leading by example in becoming blood donors when eligible, and encouraging others in their clubs to do so when there is next a regular clinic in their area.

Inter county players and management were encouraged to check their eligibility and if eligible,  to make an appointment to attend the clinic. Then as blood donors, these players will then be able to encourage others from their clubs to donate at the regular clinics in their area throughout the GAA season, even if the county players might not be eligible at that time.

Speaking recently on KFM Radio Kildare Manager, Glenn Ryan said he became aware of the importance of giving blood in 2017. “My late brother Liam was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and part of that treatment and indeed for many treatments for cancer, blood is a huge requirement and he would regularly have received blood transfusions. When Liam got sick we were all very anxious to try and help out and do something but you feel that there is very little that you can do. One day he said to me, if you really want to help out, you’ve never given blood before, why don’t you give blood?”

The late Liam Ryan then came up with a challenge which involved encouraging club players around the country to give blood but Covid 19 restrictions put paid to the roll out of the challenge. But as Glenn Ryan and his captain, Mick O’Grady, who worked with the late Liam, looked at ways of involving the players in more social commitments, the give blood initiative locally was resurrected and Thursday in Sarsfields GAA in the start of what will be a roll out throughout the county.

Blood donation is vital to the successful running of our health services, and without blood, surgeries and treatments cannot go ahead. 1 in 4 people will require a blood transfusion in their lifetime, with nearly 70% of blood usage, with platelets, required to help patients fight cancer.

Metaphorically players give ‘blood sweat and tears’ to play the sport they love, now they are taking on the task of giving blood to someone who is loved.

Please find link Irish Blood Transfusion Service for further information:

Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

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