Dáithí: Family of boy waiting on new heart says SOS has power to set date for organ donation law

The father of Dáithí Mac Gabhann has told UTV that if the Secretary of State has the power to delay an election, he has the power to enact life saving legislation.

Máirtín Mac Gabhann said he found out Chris Heaton-Harris was planning on meeting with the family while watching the news on UTV.

He said he wrote to Mr Heaton-Harris yesterday and received an acknowledgement response from the Northern Ireland Office, but he has yet to receive an official invite.

"I would say to the Secretary of State that I want him to step in and to give Dáithí's law a 'go live' date," said Máirtín.

Daithi's law means Northern Ireland will follow an opt-out organ donation system, in line with the rest of the UK.

It's been a campaign the Mac Gabhann's have fought long and hard for - not just for their son, but for all those waiting on an organ donor.

The Stormont Assembly passed the law last year but without a functioning Executive, secondary legislation cannot be passed.

That means plans for the law to come into effect in the spring will now be delayed.

Máirtín wants Westminster to step in and sign-off on the final stage.

He believes that if Mr Heaton-Harris has the power to delay an election, then he should have the power to enact Dáithí's law.

"We heard whispers last night that if the Secretary of State was to step in here, that it could take longer than Stormont bringing this forward. We feel that that is nonsense.

"We feel also that if the Secretary of State is talking about delaying an election, we'll say very clearly to him, if he can do that to deliver an election, he can do that to give a go live date for this law.

"If anyone deserves to see Daithi's Law go live, it's Diathi himself," said Máirtín.

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