Six-year-old Dáithí Mac Gabhann granted freedom of Belfast

Event in Belfast City Hall bestows city’s highest honour on young boy whose family campaigned for changes to organ donation law

Six-year-old Dáithí Mac Gabhann has been awarded the freedom of Belfast City following his family’s campaign for changes to organ donation laws.

The Organ and Tissue Donation (Deemed Consent) legislation, also called Dáithí’s Law after the Belfast boy, changes the way consent for donation is granted and came into effect on Thursday.

Most adults in Northern Ireland are now considered potential organ donors.

The intent of the new legislation is to increase the current number of organs available to people in need of a transplant.


Adults are now deemed to have given consent as a potential organ donor after their death unless they choose to opt out or are in an excluded group.

Dáithí has been on the waiting list for a heart transplant since 2018, and his family have campaigned for a move towards a soft opt-out law and to promote organ donation.

Belfast City Council said the decision to bestow the city’s highest honour on the six year old is in recognition of his campaign.

The Lord Mayor and Belfast City Council conferred the Freedom of the City onto Dáithí at an event at Belfast City Hall on Saturday evening.

A circus-style, big-top tent was erected on the front lawns of City Hall to welcome Dáithí’s friends and family for the event. - (PA)