Danny Gallagher
© Danny Gallagher.com
A county Londonderry faith healer has been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) for claiming he could treat "serious or prolonged ailments or conditions requiring the attention of a registered medical or other qualified practitioner."

Danny Gallagher, a self-styled 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' faith healer from Maghera, regularly visits healing centres in Letterkenny and throughout the island offering to heal people using "strange powers."

Such are his alleged powers that back in 2002 when Deportivo La Coruna defender Aldo Duscher broke David Beckham's foot, Mr Gallagher offered to help heal the former Manchester United winger.

Dr MJ Stone, the club's doctor at the time, wrote and thanked Mr Gallagher, vowing to keep his details on file and if "we need to get in touch, contact will be made with you."

Then in the aftermath of the Iraq war, Mr Gallagher visited the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington, the largest field hospital in the US, and tended to soldiers who had been horrifically injured in gun and bomb attacks.

But now the Irish advertising watchdog has upheld a complaint against an advertisement of Mr Gallagher's which one individual "considered to be unfounded and false."

According to the ASAI the complainant said that "Danny Gallagher had no medical qualifications and while no form of medical treatment was on offer, the advertiser nevertheless appeared to be making healing claims for serious illnesses."

"The complainant also objected to the editorial piece in the same newspaper edition where the advertiser claimed to have power over illness. It was noted that the illnesses listed in the article were arthritis, eczema, anorexia and depression," the ASAI added.

This was refuted by the advertiser who the ASAI name as Mr Danny Gallagher.

"He said that his advertisements were accounts of past and verifiable healings. He submitted the testimonials of some of those mentioned in his advertisement and other persons who claimed to have been healed by him," stated the ASAI.

"He stated that he had never claimed nor would ever claim to have any medical qualifications. He did not administer any form of medical treatment to those who would come to see him.

"He referred to the fact that he was the seventh son of a seventh son and historically such persons were considered to have the power of healing. However he stated that he did not offer any guarantees to those who come to him looking to be healed," the authority added.

"He considered that he had not made claims in his advertisement rather the advertising provided information about the healing he has achieved in the past. He said that he offered hope to people. He did not advise people to renounce prescribed medical treatment, but offered to counsel them with such treatment," the authority concluded.

Ultimately, the ASAI upheld the complaint saying its "Complaints Committee determined that the advertisement contravened the rules of the Code on the basis that the advertisement breached Section 8.5 of the Code.

"The complaint was upheld on the basis that the Committee determined that the advertisement breached Section 8.5 of the Code."

Section 8.5 of the ASAI code stipulates that "marketing communications should not offer any product or treatment for serious or prolonged ailments or for conditions requiring the attention of a registered medical or other qualified practitioner."