Republic's ban on gay blood donors may be lifted
The lifetime ban in the Republic on gay men from giving blood looks set to be lifted by the end of the year.
It comes three weeks after it was announced that a controversial lifetime ban on gay men donating blood in Northern Ireland is to be lifted.
A similar ban was ended in England, Scotland and Wales in 2011 and replaced with rules that allowed gay men to give blood 12 months after their last sexual encounter with another man.
The Irish Blood Transfusion Service, which met yesterday to discuss the issue, recommended the Republic's ban should end.
It should be replaced by a rule which would accept a blood donation from a gay man who has not had sex for a year.
The recommendation will now go to Irish Health Minister Simon Harris who will make the ultimate decision on whether the current regulations are changed.
The lifetime ban was introduced in the mid-1980s.