Northern Ireland news

Dáithí lights up west Belfast with Christmas switch-on

Daithi Mac Gabhann with his parents Mairtin Mac Gabhann and Seph Ni Mheallain switching on the Christmas lights at the Culturlann in west Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann.

A YOUNG boy with a rare heart condition lit up west Belfast at the weekend when he was guest of honour at the annual Christmas switch-on at Culturlann yesterday.

Dáithí Mac Gabhann was centre stage along with Santa for the annual light up at the well known cultural centre in west Belfast.

The four-year-old was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and has undergone major surgery and has been waiting on heart transplant for three years.

His parents Máirtín Mac Gabhann and Seph Ní Mhealláin have led a high profile campaign for the adoption of a soft opt-out organ donation system, as is the case in Britain.

Earlier this year Mac Gabhann spoke emotionally after Stormont leaders agreed to go ahead with a law to allow opt-out organ donation.

The bill would mean people automatically become donors unless they specifically state otherwise and health Minister Robin Swann believes the move could change 180 lives.

Mr Mac Gabhann last night said: "We have been very busy and have had many ups and downs but thankfully have made progress on law change on donation in the north," he said.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news