Kildare GAA - supporting blood donation

GAA Players (Kildare) supporting blood donation

This initiative is about inter county players and staff across all GAA codes, leading by example in becoming blood donors when eligible, and encouraging others in their clubs to do so when there is next a regular clinic in their area.

With the support of the county management and Kildare GAA Board, a special clinic has been arranged to fit in with the training schedule for inter county players so that players, when eligible, can become blood donors. This clinic will be run on 3rd November 2022 in Sarsfield GAA club, Newbridge.

Players are encouraged to check their eligibility and if eligible, follow the tasks below (and encourage 1 other person to also do so) and then to make an appointment to attend the clinic. Then as blood donors, these players and friends will then be able to encourage others from their clubs to donate at the regular clinics in their area throughout the GAA season, even if the county players might not be eligible at that time.

Why this initiative?

Blood donation is vital to the successful running of our health services, Without blood, surgeries and treatments cannot go ahead. 1 in 4 people will require a blood transfusion in their lifetime, with nearly 70% of blood usage, with platelets, required to help patients fight cancer in particular.

However only 3% of the eligible population are active donors, in particular among younger people with the average age of a blood donors currently at 43 years old.

By engaging well known role models such as inter county GAA players and staff, we will be able to encourage more people, particularly younger people, to give blood regularly.

The county players will walk the walk, becoming blood donors themselves, but also then encourage others in their clubs and communities to become blood donors, when we run our normal blood donation clinics every 3 months in the various communities around Kildare throughout the year.


What do you as an inter county player or staff member need to do

Step 1   -  Visit to check your eligibility here 

  • If you are eligible, send an email to with the following information
    • That you have taken the eligibility quiz and you believe you are eligible, or if you have further questions you want to ask
    • Your name, email address, and mobile phone number
  • If you are ineligible or not comfortable doing so, that’s alright, many people are and it is as important for the safety of patients that people don’t give blood who are ineligible. In this case we encourage you to find an eligible replacement, ideally from your club, to take your place.

In particular note eligibility criteria around tattoos, acupuncture, dry needling (temporary deferred for 4 months) and for female donors, weight criteria that may impact your ability to donate blood.

If you have queries regarding specific treatments / illnesses, or any queries regarding travel in the last 12 months, you can review the FAQs here or ring (059) 9132125 to ask more about your query


Step 2 – Be ready to take our phone call for a more detailed pre-screening and to help you if you have any questions - it will likely be from the Carlow number. If you cant take the call, you can call back soon at more convenient time. During this call we will agree a time slot for you for the clinic on November 3rd. Please remember to let us know if your circumstances change re eligibility before the clinic.

Step 3 – let Glenn Ryan know whether you have made an appt or not (so he can coordinate slots across teams and ensure the clinic is well attended, including facilitating other people who want to give blood). You will not be asked about why you can’t give blood if that is the case.

Step 4 – On the day of the clinic (Thursday November 3rd at Sarsfield GAA club, Newbridge)

  • make sure you are well hydrated and have eaten something substantial no later than 3 hours prior to your donation.
  • Please do not train / significant exercise before or up to 12 hours after giving blood. This is to minimise any feelings of faintness and to maximise your chances of being able to give blood on the day.
  • Please also ensure you have no Covid symptoms or are felling unwell.

If you are unwell in the 7 days before the clinic – cough, cold, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or any Covid symptoms please do not attend the clinic – give us a call and we will cancel the appointment.

Donors who have hayfever can be accepted once they can confirm that their symptoms are consistent with their usual hayfever symptoms and they are well on the day of donation.

If you previously had Covid, please note you must be fully recovered for 7 days with no symptoms (other than change to ability to taste/smell, or you have just a mild residual cough after the 7 days.

  • Please bring photo ID
  • Please wear a surgical mask and not a face covering - if you do not have access to one they will be available on the door of the clinic and you will be asked to wear one throughout the clinic


Step 5 – As a blood donor and Kildare GAA ambassador, we hope you will encourage others in your club and local community to do the same, next time we are in your area. We will let you know beforehand when a clinic is scheduled. We will support you with content that you can share and use to encourage others.

Thank you for your support in this exciting initiative, and continuing the long traditional of GAA support for blood donation.