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Coláiste Feirste pupils rally round Dáithí

ASSEMBLY STAR: Little Dáithí and his mum and dad with Coláiste Feirste pupils and staff ASSEMBLY STAR: Little Dáithí and his mum and dad with Coláiste Feirste pupils and staff
By Brónach Ní Thuama

NINE out of ten Coláiste Feirste senior pupils have signed up to the Organ Donation Register after meeting inspirational West Belfast tot Dáithí Mac Gabhann.

Ballymurphy boy Dáithí along with his devoted parents Máirtín and Seph attended a 30-minute assembly with the pupils to highlight Organ Donation Week.

Dáithí has now spent over 100 days on the waiting list for a new heart following a diagnosis of hypoplastic heart syndrome
Speaking to the Andersonstown News, Dáithí’s dad Máirtín Mac Gabhann said: “Once again our Dáithí has done it, we went in with no expectations, we just wanted to raise some awareness.

“There were 150 pupils in attendance at the assembly and 137 of them joined the register. Dáithí had the crowd eating out of his hand. He had the microphone and was singing to the pupils, they loved him.

“When we were giving our talk you could hear a pin drop, the students were so attentive. We discussed the way organ donation works in Scotland, young people are allowed to register from the age of 14 without parental consent, Scotland has the highest number of donors.”

Máirtín continued: “Being a past pupil and a former teacher in Coláiste Feirste I always knew how wonderful the school was, but to have 91 per cent of Year Six and Year Seven pupils signing up made us feel very emotional, it was beyond our wildest dreams.

“We knew once we heard the bell going that we had to wrap up our assembly, but then all the pupils queued up to meet Dáithí.

“Dáithí spent over half an hour fist-pumping, hugging and blowing kisses at all the students, we couldn’t believe it. We are so proud of our son and so proud of Coláiste Feirste. Our little boy is changing the world.”

As well as his visit to Coláiste Feirste Dáithí also did the impossible and united members of Belfast City Council last week at their monthly Council meeting.

Máirtín said: “Dáithí united the entire Council chamber with laughter, each and every party had something positive to contribute and for once they were all in total agreement.

“We asked Council to consider introducing new legislation where parents are asked to consider registering their babies as organ donors while they are registering their births. We know this isn’t an easy topic to discuss or even think about, but we never thought we would find ourselves in this position either.

“We did some wonderful things during Organ Donation Week and we are so proud of everyone who signed up to join the organ donor register after meeting Dáithí.”

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