Giving blood, sweat and tears on 1,000km charity cycle

Gardaí have gone to great lengths this week — the entire country, to be precise — to show how a little blood, sweat and tears can go a long way.

Giving blood, sweat and tears on 1,000km charity cycle

Now, all they want you to do is provide the blood.

As part of the annual Blood for Life charity cycle campaign, dozens of officers from across Ireland have spent the past five days travelling on a 1,000km nationwide journey.

The endurance trip, which finished outside Cork City council buildings yesterday, was in aid of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service’s campaign to get more people to donate blood for hospital and other services.

Since Monday, riders taking part in the public awareness initiative have cycled through every county in the Republic of Ireland.

And by doing so, they have attempted to show onlookers that while taking action from either cycling or giving blood may be daunting, it can help to achieve great things.

Welcoming the riders home yesterday were Cork City lord mayor, Cllr Catherine Clancy, RTÉ’s Southern Editor, Paschal Sheehy, and the IBTS’s chairman, Professor Anthony Staines, and chief executive, Andy Kelly.

While the IBTS service is not currently suffering from a blood shortage, it has previously warned of a “significant challenge” for the sector after 5,000 less donations were collected in 2012 than in 2011. This was largely down to changes in the management of blood haemoglobin levels.

That saw up to 25% of potential donors excluded at certain times of the year — putting an added burden on existing donors who are allowed. Donated blood is used in a wide variety of life-changing services, including during operations.

Further details on how and where to donate can be found at www.ibts.ie, or by phoning lo-call 1850-731137.

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