A voluntary organisation who provides an out of hours motorcycle transportation service to public hospitals, medical clinics and blood transfusion banks are hosting their annual Con Cagney Memorial Run this Sunday 12 September.
Blood Bike South is a charity run by a group of motorbike enthusiasts, to provide an out-of-hours free service to public hospitals and clinics in the south.
In a manner similar to other blood bike groups in Ireland and the UK, the group’s mission is to provide a voluntary rider service aiming to help relieve sickness and protect health by the transportation of blood, blood products, patient records, drugs and other medical requirements between public hospitals and blood transfusion banks, primarily but not exclusively in the southern region.
Chairman of the Charity Martin O’Driscoll said: “The hope we have is to take some of the pressure off our local hospitals in transporting the necessary items and then hopefully the money saved by the hospitals can be redirected into primary care areas such as facilities.”
The charity also aims to relieve the use of emergency vehicles in the transport of these items meaning that they are always available and ready to answer emergency calls.
The volunteers run their service from Monday to Friday from 7pm-7am and Saturday and Sunday for 24 hours a day.
Martin added: “Wherever the call comes from, whether it’s Cork or Kerry, we are there. It can be anything from blood donations, leukaemia tests or even breast milk. If we can take it, then we will.”
Each year the group runs a memorial run in memory of Con Cagney who was an integral member of Blood Bike South before he passed away in 2019.
“Last year we had to go virtual and it just is not the same, so for this year to be able to go back on the road is great. We will be doing the scenic West Cork coastal route with a few stops throughout the day and if the weather is good it will be a fantastic day.”
The memorial run is one of the group's few chances to fundraise to keep them going as they do not receive any Government funding.
Martin added: “We are completely voluntary and this year we took on even more as we have also been transporting Covid-19 samples from hospitals to labs all over the country.”
Anyone who would like to take part in the run can register on the day or through idonate.ie/OurBloddBikeFundraiser519.
Donations can also be made through the iDonate link.