Members of the African community hosted a celebration of diversity, inclusion, positive mental health, fashion and music to mark World Sickle Cell Day. The Sickle Cell Education and Awareness Ball took place in the Hilton Hotel and was attended by Yemi Adenuga, Fine Gael Councillor for Navan and the first African woman elected in Ireland and Cllr. Emer Higgins who supports the event every year. This year marked the 7th sold out celebration, and the aim was to come together to raise funds, to educate and have fun, while at the same time to better our understanding and hear about the impact and true stories of people living with sickle cell in Ireland. Sickle Cell Ireland have successfully donated €6000 to Crumlin children’s hospital launching the first ever Sickle Cell support services for children and families in Ireland.

“I was delighted to attend the World Sickle Cell Day celebrations to help raise awareness of the anaemia. Thankfully it’s a rarity in Ireland today, but as modern Ireland becomes more multicultural, diverse and inclusive, unless we promote awareness of the disease we could risk changing that. It’s a genetic condition of which many people, particularly those of African descent, are carriers. Being a carrier doesn’t impact your life but it could impact your child’s,” said Cllr. Emer Higgins. “The event itself was fantastic, a celebration of diversity, song, dance and fashion. Many congratulations to Debola Sakinah Abdul-Ibiyeye and Ester on another successful fundraiser.” concluded Cllr. Emer Higgins.