TRANSPLANT TEAM IRELAND RETURNS FROM WORLD TRANSPLANT GAMES WITH MEDALS HAUL14 GOLD, 7 SILVER AND 11 BRONZE

PRESS RELEASE                        2.7.17
The 27 members of Transplant Team Ireland can take pride in their performances at the 21st World Transplant Games in Malaga both on and off the competitive field as they returned home to an informal homecoming reception greeted by a large gathering of family, friends and supporters at Dublin airport today, Sunday (Terminal One Arrivals Hall, 6pm approx.). The Irish team won a total of 32 medals while at the same time demonstrating their zest for life, team spirit, sportsmanship and infectious goodwill while honouring their organ donors. The Irish team’s impressive medals haul includes 14 Gold, 7 Silver and 11 Bronze from various sporting events.
Team member, Dubliner Deirdre Faul, (a liver transplant recipient), managed to break two world records in the swimming pool on her way to winning 4 gold medals, including her 6th world title in Squash.
The main objective for Team Ireland members, who range in age from 30 to 79, when taking part in the Games is to embrace life and promote organ donation. The team includes 4 liver transplant recipients and 23 kidney transplant recipients. Four newcomers joined the Irish team for the games and Michelle Reinhardt McCabe a kidney transplant recipient from Smithboro Monaghan, won 2 Gold medals in athletics at her first ever transplant games. Galway native Sinead McGowan travelled from Australia, where she now lives, to join the team and put in outstanding performances in track and field events clinching 2 Gold and 2 Silver medals.
The 21st World Transplant Games involved 1000 competitors from 51 countries and every athlete who competed will have received a kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas or bone marrow transplant. This was the second largest gathering of transplant recipients for the biennial World Games event, next to when they were held in Gold Coast, Australia in 2009. The standard of competition this year was at unprecedented levels with numerous world records falling. Daily temperatures in the mid 30s added an extra challenge for athletes and supporters but Team Doctor, Claire Kennedy, ensured that everyone kept well.
In contemplating the competition they would face during the week, team members knew that it was about the training put in and delivering a performance on the day. With a number of personal bests achieved across a variety of events the team showed their mettle. Darts featured in the Games for the first time and Cork man Charlie Ryan (from Cobh) added a world title to his 5 European titles and took home with him 2 Gold medals as well as 1 Bronze which he won along with Dubliner Lenny Ryan and fellow Cork man Mike Keohane in the Darts triples event. Mike also won two Silver medals for the Discus and 5k race walk event. Wicklow man Garry Campbell won 2 Gold for Gold singles as well as in the Golf pair’s event with Dubliner Michael Dwyer. Marie O’Connor from Lahinch in Clare also won a Gold medal for Golf along with a Bronze medal for Petanque. The oldest member of the team John McAleer, (age 79) from Antrim, also won a medal in in Golf, a bronze, and the youngest member of the team Rachel Eagleton (30) from Bettystown, Meath won a Silver medal in Tennis.
The Irish Kidney Association is responsible for coordinating and managing Transplant Team Ireland’s participation at European and World Transplant Games events. Colin White, the National Projects Manager of the Irish Kidney Association is the Ireland Team Manager. In reflecting on this year’s Games Colin said, “Team members, competitors and supporters alike, should be proud of their performance throughout the week. We continued our long held record of winning medals on every day of competition at a World Transplant Games. Equally, this year’s team built on our reputation for a sense of fair play and support for all. Our athletes are truly inspirational as they show others affected by organ failure what can be achieved post-transplant. I would like to think that the public will also have been inspired by our athletes as they have shown the life transforming impact of saying YES to organ donation and making sure that family know your wishes”.
Four members from the current team (Dubliners Deirdre Faul, Peter Heffernan, Kieran Murray from Donegal and Tony Gartland, Carlow) took part in the previous World Transplant Games in Argentina in 2015 and between them, with a much smaller team, they won 13 medals including 7 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze. Two years previously at the World Transplant Games in Durban, South Africa 2013, the Irish team of 24 athletes scooped 34 medals including 12 Gold, 10 Silver and 12 bronze with 50 competing countries.
Athletes competed in their respective age categories in the following events: badminton, cycling, darts, golf, petanque, squash, swimming, table tennis, ten pin bowling, tennis, mini-marathon, and track and field.
For more information on World Transplant Games and the Irish athletes visit the Irish team blog http://www.transplantteamireland.ie<http://www.transplantteamireland.ie/> Visit the Games website http://www.wtgmalaga2017.com/en<http://www.wtgmalaga2017.com/en>
THE FULL IRISH PANEL IS AS FOLLOWS (and their individual ‘athlete profiles’ are on the team blog):-

ANTRIM: John McAleer, Newtownabbey (kidney) (oldest member of the team)

CORK: Mike Keohane, Clonakilty (liver); Charlie Ryan, Cobh (liver); Michael Kiely, Mitchelstown, on the Limerick border (kidney); Pat O’Sullivan, Mallow (kidney)

CARLOW: Tony (Patrick Anthony) Gartland, Hacketstown (liver), first liver transplant person in Ireland

CLARE: Marie O’Connor, Lahinch (kidney)

DONEGAL: Kieran Murray, Ramelton (kidney)

GALWAY: Sinead McGowan, Renmore (living in Australia)

KERRY: Con Brosnan, Killarney (kidney)

KILDARE: James Nolan, Kilcullen (kidney)

MEATH: Tony Gavigan, Navan, a native of Lanesborough, Longford (kidney transplant and father of deceased donor); Rachel Eagleton, Bettystown (kidney) – youngest member of the team

MONAGHAN: Michelle Reinhardt McCabe, Smithboro (kidney)

TIPPERARY: Orla Hogan, Nenagh (kidney); Sheila Gregan, Nenagh (kidney)

WICKLOW: Garry Campbell, Greystones (kidney)

DUBLIN: Ron Grainger, Castleknock, D.15 (kidney); Harry Ward, Team Captain, Baldoyle, D.13 (kidney); Paul Prendergast, Santry, D.9 (kidney); Anthony Byrne, Artane (kidney); Angela Sherlock, Greenhills (kidney); Peter Heffernan, Skerries (kidney); Aoife Murray, Clonsilla, (liver);

Michael Dwyer, Cabinteely (kidney); Leonard Ryan, Tallaght, D 24 (kidney); and Deirdre Faul, Dalkey (liver).

Team Manager, Colin White from Balbriggan, Dublin

Team Doctor, Claire Kennedy, from Lucan and living in Clontarf, Dublin
For organ donor cards Freetext DONOR to 50050 or visit website http://www.ika.ie/card<http://www.ika.ie/card> You can now download the IKA’s new digital donor card by visiting http://www.donor.ie<http://www.donor.ie/> on your smartphone.Your wishes to be an organ donor can also be included on the new format driving licence which is represented by Code 115.

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FINAL MEDAL TALLY FOR TRANSPLANT TEAM IRELAND AT 21st WORLD TRANSPLANT GAMES, MALAGA

32 Medals including 14 GOLD, 7 SILVER AND 11 BRONZE
Transplant Team Ireland’s return flight on Ryanair is expected to land at Dublin airport Terminal One on Sunday July 2nd at 17.30 hours. An informal homecoming reception by family, friends and supporters will take place in the Arrivals Hall (Terminal One) as the team are expected to come through after collecting baggage at approx. 18 hrs. 

Monaghan woman takes long jump Gold on final day of World Transplant Games in Malaga

Ireland’s Sheila and Sinead win Gold and Bronze medals for Virtual Triathlon

Galway native Sinead McGowan and Sheila Gregan from Tipperary were awarded Gold and Bronze medals respectively for the Virtual Triathlon (age category 40-49 years) at the World Transplant Games in Malaga today, on the final day of events. The silver medal in the same event was won by a USA athlete. The results for the virtual triathlon are a culmination of three events which took place over the week at the World Games including the 5k road race, 30k cycling event and 1500m freestyle swimming event.
Sheila Gregan, a kidney transplant recipient from Nenagh said, “I’m thrilled, it’s the hardest fought medal but nothing that’s this worthwhile is easy. I’m so happy with it. A huge thank you to everyone who has helped me. the clubs at home, the Nenagh Triathlon Club, my own family and, of course, ultimately my donor and their family”.
Sinead McGowan, also a kidney transplant recipient, has enjoyed huge success at the Games and can add her latest Gold medal to another Gold and two Silver medals which she has already won in running events at the week-long games.
Transplant Team Ireland returns home to Dublin airport tomorrow Sunday and will be greeted by family, friends and supporters at an informal reception when the come through to the arrivals hall at 6pm approx.

3 Silver medals with hopes for more wins by Irish team on final day of World Transplant Games.

The final day of events got off to a great start for Transplant Team Ireland as two liver transplant men won 3 Silver medals between them by 10.30am! Corkman Mike Keohane won 2 Silver medals for the 5K Racewalk and Discus events and Tony Gartland from Carlow also clinched a Silver in the 5k Racewalk.

First up was Mike Keohane from Roscarberry, Cork who comfortably won a Silver medal in the 5k Racewalk in the 40-49 years age category with a personal best time of 28.23 and coming in just behind the overall winner from Hungary. Then just over an hour later he went on to win a Silver in the Discus event with the UK coming first and the Czech Republic in 3rd place.
This is Mike’s third medal to win at the Games having already secured a Bronze earlier in the week for the Darts triples event with fellow Corkman Charlie Ryan (from Cobh) and Dubliner Lenny Ryan (from Tallaght). 
Tony Gartland, from Hacketstown, Carlow, the first person to undergo a liver transplant in Ireland, also crossed the finish line in second position securing a Silver medal while Spain took Gold with Italy took Bronze. in his age category (50-59 years). Tony said after his race, “The 5km and 1500m races earlier in the week didn’t go as well as I would have hoped. Following that disappointment, I spent the week focusing on encouraging the rest of the team and this race. I’m absolutely delighted to get a silver after the hard work I put in. I’ll have very happy memories of Spain. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me, and a big thank you for the physio I got from Noel Molloy and Star Geoghegan”.
Mike Keohane said, “I’m delighted with this, a personal best of 28.23. Conditions were very tough. I kept a solid pace the whole way through. 18 seconds faster than I achieved at the European Championships in Finland last year.The Hungarian competitor in front of me got a world record. All the training has paid off. I’m lucky to be here and it’s my donor that I have to thank for that. A big thank you to my wife Dee, for her massive support”.
A number of members of the Irish Team have yet to compete in athletics events on the final day of events at the World Transplant Games. 
The team will return home to Dublin airport on Sunday evening, 2nd July, bringing with them a large haul of medals which they won at the week-long games and memories to treasure for years to come. Their Ryanair flight is expected to land in Dublin airport at 17.30 hours. An informal homecoming reception with family, friends and supporters will take place in the Arrivals Hall (Terminal One) as the team are expected to come through after collecting baggage at approx. 18 hrs.

 

The Irish team of 27 athletes have been competing among close to 1000 transplant recipients form over 50 countries. Every athlete at the World Transplant Games will have already received a kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas or bone marrow transplant.

 

The Irish team includes four newcomers. Although the main objective for team members is to embrace life and promote organ donation, some returning team members were also contesting World titles. Keen to build on their medal successes at the previous World Transplant Games in Argentina in 2015, Deirdre Faul, Kieran Murray, Tony Gartland and Peter Heffernan have trained hard for the Malaga games. Between them, the much smaller team of four won 13 medals including 7 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze in Argentina. Two years previously at the World Transplant Games in Durban, South Africa 2013, the Irish team of 24 athletes scooped 34 medals including 12 Gold, 10 Silver and 12 bronze with 50 competing countries.

 

Athletes compete in their respective age categories in the following events: badminton, cycling, darts, golf, petanque, squash, swimming, table tennis, ten pin bowling, tennis, mini-marathon, and track and field.

 
For more information on World Transplant Games and the Irish athletes visit the Irish team blog http://www.transplantteamireland.ie Visit the Games website http://www.wtgmalaga2017.com/en

 

THE FULL IRISH PANEL IS AS FOLLOWS (and their individual ‘athlete profiles’ are on the team blog):-

ANTRIM: John McAleer, Newtownabbey (kidney) (oldest member of the team)

CORK: Mike Keohane, Clonakilty (liver); Charlie Ryan, Cobh (liver); Michael Kiely, Mitchelstown, on the Limerick border (kidney); Pat O’Sullivan, Mallow (kidney)

CARLOW: Tony (Patrick Anthony)Gartland, Hacketstown(liver), first liver transplant person in Ireland

CLARE: Marie O’Connor, Lahinch (kidney)

DONEGAL: Kieran Murray, Ramelton (kidney)

GALWAY: Sinead McGowan, Renmore (living in Australia)

KERRY: Con Brosnan, Killarney (kidney)

KILDARE: James Nolan, Kilcullen (kidney)

MEATH: Tony Gavigan, Navan, a native of Lanesborough, Longford (kidney transplant and father of deceased donor); Rachel Eagleton, Bettystown (kidney) – youngest member of the team

MONAGHAN: Michelle Reinhardt McCabe, Smithboro (kidney)

TIPPERARY: Orla Hogan, Nenagh (kidney); Sheila Gregan, Nenagh (kidney)

WICKLOW: Garry Campbell, Greystones (kidney)

DUBLIN: Ron Grainger, Castleknock, D.15 (kidney); Harry Ward, Team Captain, Baldoyle, D.13 (kidney); Paul Prendergast, Santry, D.9 (kidney); Anthony Byrne, Artane (kidney); Angela Sherlock, Greenhills (kidney); Peter Heffernan, Skerries (kidney); Aoife Murray, Clonsilla, (liver);

Michael Dwyer, Cabinteely (kidney); Leonard Ryan, Tallaght, D 24 (kidney); and Deirdre Faul, Dalkey (liver).

Team Manager, Colin White from Balbriggan, Dublin

Team Doctor, Claire Kennedy, from Lucan and living in Clontarf, Dublin

 

For organ donor cards Freetext DONOR to 50050 or visit website http://www.ika.ie/card You can now download the IKA’s new digital donor card by visiting http://www.donor.ie on your smartphone.Your wishes to be an organ donor can also be included on the new format driving licence which is represented by Code 115. 

-ENDS-

 

NOTE: Transplant Team Ireland’s return flight on Ryanair is expected to land at Dublin airport Terminal One on Sunday July 2nd at 17.30 hours. An informal homecoming reception by family, friends and supporters will take place in the Arrivals Hall (Terminal One) as the team are expected to come through after collecting baggage at approx. 18 hrs. Photographer Conor McCabe will be covering this homecoming event (no repro fee) tel. 085 7057255

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gwen O’Donoghue, Media co-ordinator. Mob. 353 86 8241447 Email: gwenodonoghue1@gmail.com

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For further information contact: Gwen O’Donoghue 086 8241447