Andy Kavanagh, an employee of An Post and the longest surviving heart transplant recipient, at the GPO, Dublin to launch the special stamp. Photograph: Maxwell Photography
An Post has launched a new postage stamp with the aim of starting a national conversation about organ donation.
Featuring an hourglass timer that represents “the precious nature of time and the gift of life passing from one person to another”, the stamps can be scanned by smartphones which will automatically open a website about becoming a donor.
Debbie Byrne, managing director of An Post Retail, said they hope it will help raise public awareness by delivering a simple message – “Be an organ donor, save Lives”.
“An Post wants to spark a national conversation in Ireland’s post offices, kitchens, cars, playgrounds and wherever families are gathering,” she said at the launch of the latest stamp at Dublin’s GPO.
“We want staff and customers to have that chat about their wishes for donation.
“And we invite everyone to pick up a donor card at their local post office.”
Helping to launch the stamp was Andy Kavanagh, who has worked for An Post for last 20 years and who is the longest surviving heart transplant patient in Ireland, having had the transplant on May 25th, 1986, before a kidney transplant 12 years ago.
“The important message we are trying to get out to people is for people to donate their organs but also to make sure that their family knows what their wishes are if anything was to unfortunately happen to them,” he said.
As well as telling family, would-be donors are advised they can carry an organ donor card or have their wishes included on their driver’s licence.
“It is only because of the generosity of the Irish public that patients can receive the life-saving treatment of an organ transplant,” he said.
“Our message is simple: Organ donation saves lives.”