A mother fighting for justice over her son's death from the human form of mad cow disease has won backing from Gerry Adams.
The Sinn Fein leader has given his full support to Christine Lord, who was today set to embark on a three-day visit to the Northern Ireland Assembly in Stormont.
She is seeking answers after her son Andy Black died six months after being diagnosed with Variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease in December 2007.
In a letter to Ms Lord, Gerry Adams wrote: 'I cannot imagine how hurt you are at the unnecessary death of your child. I admire your efforts to find the truth about vCJD and I assure you that I and my party support your efforts.'
Ms Lord, of Wilton Terrace, Southsea, Portsmouth, will also discuss her concerns – which include demands for screening for vCJD in blood donors – with medical students at Queen's University, Belfast.
She said: 'Donors are already screened for HIV. Why not screen for vCJD as well? It's because screening would reveal the true prevalence of vCJD in the wider population.'
>> Vote in our latest web poll.