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Mayors celebrate gift of life through organ donation

30 November 2017

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, was joined by the Mayor of Limerick, Stephen Keary, today for the unveiling of a special Life Candle sculpture on the grounds of St Columb’s Park House.

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 and Social Care Trust’s Organ Donation Committee, is part of a multi-national and multi-city initiative aimed at commemorating organ donors and celebrating 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 30 November 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 gifted commemorative 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 and highlighting the gesture of outreach and friendship through which the gifting is made.

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.