A permanent ban on donating blood for anyone who lived in the UK for a year or more between 1980 and 1996 has been reversed.
The Irish Blood Transfusion Service says such donors will now be eligible to donate from 7th October next.
In 2004, the permanent deferral policy was introduced for people who had been resident in the UK, including Northern Ireland, for a year or more between 1st Jan 1980 and end of Dec 1996, due to fears of BSE and CJD disease.
This move resulted in the loss of up to 10,000 blood donors, and has been a source of annoyance for donors who have been unable to donate since then.
Dr Stephen Field of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service told Midwest News that evidence is now available to allow this ban be overturned, which will allow many donors who lived and worked in the UK for a time during that period to return to blood donation clinics..