Freedom of the City for Dáithí

We were delighted to attend a special ceremony held at Belfast City Hall to confer the Freedom of the City on six-year-old Dáithí Mac Gabhann, in recognition of his campaign to raise awareness around organ donation. He is the youngest ever recipient of the city’s highest accolade.

The Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Tina Black was delighted to lead the celebratory event and said: “Dáithí is an exceptional and special little boy who has inspired and given hope to other young people waiting for a donor.”

Dáithí was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, meaning the left side of his heart did not form correctly and he has been on the list for a heart transplant for several years.

Dáithí and his family have lobbied for a change in the legislation in Northern Ireland and Dáithí’s law successfully came into effect on Thursday 1 June.

This means all adults will be considered potential organ donors unless they choose to opt out or are in an excluded group.

Councillor Black also said: “Dáithí is an inspiration being so brave, at such a young age, in undergoing several open-heart surgeries in recent years. It is fantastic that he is now being recognised for his tireless campaigning in raising awareness around organ donation, and his success at bringing about a change in legislation.

“The Freedom of the City on Dáithí showcases the immense pride we as a city have for him and I am both humbled and delighted to be here today to congratulate and celebrate with courageous Dáithí and his family.”

We brought three lovely families with us to the celebration:

Emma Adamson – 5 years ago Emma was in end-stage kidney failure and received a kidney from her dad… she is now thriving.

David McKenna – David has had two kidney transplants, the last of which was the first incompatible blood group transplant for a child.

Olly & Etta Cartmill – Brother and sister Olly and Etta were both born with complex kidney problems and will need a transplant in due course.