Tomás Heneghan is taking the Irish Blood Transfusion Service to court because he believes they are discriminating against him and gay men.

The Irish student is taking the IBTS to the high court after they “permanently deferred” him despite being tested negative for any diseases or viruses.

Mr Heneghan, 23, who had been donating blood since he was eighteen, honestly disclosed the fact that he had slept with a man which is when the IBTS “deferred him”, which effectively acts as a ban on donating blood. The IBTS enforces a lifetime ban on any man who has had anal or oral sex with another man.


Mr Heneghan considers giving blood a “civic responsibility” his counsel said.

The European Convention on Human Rights prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. However, there is a provision for discriminating if it is reasonable and proportionate. Mr Heneghan is arguing that each individual must have an inquiry with regard to whether they can donate to ensure that a blanket ban on gay men giving blood is not discriminatory.

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The Irish Times reports that Mr Justice Seamus Noonan is satisfied that this is an appropriate case against the IBTS, the Minister of Health and the State.

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