New sculpture honours organ donors’ gift of life

The two Mayors of Derry and Limerick and Western Trust Chief Executive Anne Kilgallen were among those who attended the ceremony.
The two Mayors of Derry and Limerick and Western Trust Chief Executive Anne Kilgallen were among those who attended the ceremony.

The Mayors of Derry and Limerick came together yesterday for the unveiling of a special Life Candle sculpture in honour of organ donors.

Maolíosa McHugh and Stephen Keary attended the ceremony at the grounds of St. Columb’s Park House in the Waterside area.

The gesture was part of a global commemoration of organ donation, which saw participating cities gifting the sculptures to a partner city.

Limerick City gifted the ‘Life Candle’ to Derry City, while Derry City in turn gifted a ‘Life Candle’ to Melbourne.

The project, which is being co-ordinated by the Strange Boat Organ Donation Charity, with council, in partnership with the Western Health & Social Care Trust’s Organ Donation Committee, is part of a multi-national and multi-city initiative aimed at commemorating organ donors and promoting organ donation across the world.

The event was organised to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first heart transplant having been performed in Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town on November 30, 1967.

The Mayors were joined by health professionals, donor families and organ recipients, who came together to pay tribute to all those who have given the gift of life through organ donation.

The sculptures are each a 5.5’ tall carved replica of the stone sculpted candle in the Circle of Life Garden in Galway and will be accompanied by a stone tablet narrating the purpose of the project.

Initially the Life Candle for Derry is being installed adjacent to St. Columb’s Park House and a landscaped walled garden is to be constructed adjacent to St Columb’s Park House during the next year.

Once work on this walled garden is nearing completion the Life Candle will be incorporated within it.

You can sign up to the Organ Donation Register online in the north at www.organdonationni.info/register/online
In the south, people can get an Organ Donor Card via www.organdonation.ie/donate.html