The Blood Bank at Pelican House Dublin looks for 100,000 donations of blood a year which are distributed through the health service.

The Blood Transfusion Service Board was established in 1949, and the National Blood Transfusion Association came into existence in 1965. The Dublin Blood Bank serves all of the 26 counties, with the exception of Cork and Limerick, who run their own services.  

The legend of the pelican says she gave her blood to keep her young alive.

Donor Organiser Harry Joseph and Assistant Donor Organiser Geraldine Forsyth talk to reporter Mícheál Ó hUanacháin in Pelican House, Dublin.  

100,000 donations a year are needed.  As all blood donors in Ireland are volunteers, more donors come in around the Christmas and Easter holidays. Advances in science mean that blood donations are now used in the treatment of diseases, or for correcting rare and hitherto fatal blood conditions.  

The donation process is simpler than it used to be, and can easily be fitted into a donor’s day,

An experienced donor can be in and out of the blood bank in less than an hour, having had a rest and a cuppa as well, in between.

Today is reporter Mícheál Ó hUanacháin’s fifteenth blood donation, and in recognition of this, he is presented with silver Pelican Award.  

In 2000 the organisation’s name changed to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service. 

This report for ‘P.M.’ was broadcast on 7 December 1977.  The reporter is Mícheál Ó hUanacháin.