Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness

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Service of Remembrance & Thanksgiving 2018

A congregation of over 2,000 attended this year's Annual Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving held in Dublin on Saturday last, 6th October, to honour organ donors and their families.

This annual Ecumenical Service is organised by the Irish Kidney Association, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary. The inaugural Service held in 1986 had an attendance of 300 people and, since then, the numbers have increased annually and, in recent years, over 2,000 people have attended from all over Ireland. 

Each year courageous families of deceased organ donors and living donors, and grateful transplant recipients of heart, lungs, liver, kidney, pancreas and bone marrow, travel to Dublin from across the country to attend this very special event. 


Catherine Webster, her sister Anne, their niece, Caitriona Dempsey, with Jim Egan, Director, ODTI. Catherine & Anne's brother, Frank's organs were donated in 2016

Also attending as part of the organ donation and transplant community were patient advocacy groups and leading members of the medical and nursing profession and transplant coordinators. 


This year’s Ecumenical Service was led by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who has participated in the Service many times.  He was accompanied by Monsignor Martin O'Shea, Parish Priest of Corpus Christi Church, Archdeacon Gordon Linney, retired Archdeacon of the Church of Ireland, Dublin and Rector of St Paul's Glenageary, Reverend William Black, retired Rector of the Parish of Drumcondra, North Strand and St Barnabas and Reverend Alan Boal, Minister at the Abbey Presbyterian Church in North inner city Dublin. All Clergy have faithfully participated in this unique Service for many years.

Broadcaster Claire Byrne, the ambassador for organ donor awareness 2018, was invited to commence the symbolic 'Ceremony of Light' by reading Helen Custer's poem  'A Candle' to remember those who have died and to commemorate the resurrection of life.  


Broadcaster, Claire Byrne with Aine Mae O'Mahony from Clare who received a pancreas and kidney transplant in 2017

This symbolic Service, now in its 33rd year, also marks the anniversary of the production of the ‘Book of Remembrance’. This ‘Roll of Honour’, inscribed with the names of organ and tissue donors has been an integral part of the Service since its inception  For many donor families this special Service has become an anniversary to both remember their loved ones, and for transplant recipients, the opportunity to honour and give thanks for the wonderful ‘gift of life’ they have received.

 

Valerie Brady, Secretary, IKA, Lorraine Costello, Patient Support Officer, IKA with Denis Goggin, Strange Boat Donor Foundation


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