PRESS RELEASE 30th July, 2013
Transplant Team is enjoying great success at the 19th World Transplant Games in Durban, today’s medal count is an impressive 3 Gold and 2 Silver medals in Squash, Cycling, Golf and Petanque events. This brings the team’s medal tally since the Games events began yesterday to 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze.
The first medal of today was a Silver secured by Glasnevin man John Moran in the 5km cycling time trial event (50-59 years). John received a living donor kidney transplant from his brother Frank 28 years ago. He said, “it was a very tough course, the wind was against me which I wasn’t expecting. Overall I’m delighted with the Silver.” John is looking forward to competing in a 20km cycling road race tomorrow as well as track and field events later in the week.
John’s teammate, Mullingar native John Connell, also put in a good performance in the 5km cycling event today.
Tipperary woman and triathlete, Sheila Gregan was placed a respectable fourth in the women’s 5km time trial (40-49 years).
Two Gold medals were secured in Squash events held in another part of Durban city today as liver transplant woman Deirdre Faul from Dalkey was the overall winner in the 40-49 year age category and new member to the team Andrew Duncan (15) from Clonmelalso scooped Gold in his age category (15 -17 years). Andrew received a living donor kidney transplant from his father Malcolm last year. Hopes are high for further success for Andrew who completed his Junior Cert exams earlier this summer, when he competes in tennis, badminton and table tennis events over the coming days. Andrew spoke his win today saying, “it was a great experience and the level of talent in the competition was very high. I feel lucky to have come out with a Gold. It’s great to be able to represent Ireland and I have received great support from the team, my family as well as Squash Ireland.”
More Gold medals came this afternoon when kidney and pancreas transplant recipientBridie Nicholson from Sligo and liver transplant woman Catherine Murphy from Aghabullogue, Co. Cork came first in the Petanque pairs event, with each of them being awarded a Gold medal which is counted as one Gold on the medals table. Speaking about their win Bridie said “it was a very tough competition. Myself and Catherine worked very well together. We played a few very tough games against Australia and South Africa. The final against Thailand was particularly difficult, it was level pegging for a while but at the end we pulled it out of the bag and won the final points. Referring to the Gold medal which she won at the 2007 World Transplant Games in Bangkok in the Petanque singles event, Bridie said “It’s fantastic to win another World Games medal. I’m proud to bring another Gold home”
The final Silver medal of the day for the Irish team came late this afternoon when Kilcullen man James Nolan and Brian Carney from Killester, Co Dublin came second in the Golf pairs event with a combined score of 42 points. The two kidney transplant recipients lost out to Gold on a countback over the last six holes, South Africa took first place and Thailand was placed third. Speaking about their win was James Nolan said, “we are absolutely thrilled with our win. The Games are a wonderful experience”. Seamus Eager and Eoin Hurley also played very well at the golf event.
Yesterday, liver transplant man Tony Gartland (50) from Hacketstown, Carlow won aSilver medal in the 5km road race and kidney transplant man James Reynolds (26), from Tallaght won Bronze in the Petanque singles event.
Members of the 24-strong Irish team will continue to participate in various sporting events throughout the week and the Games will come to a close on Sunday, 4th August.
The Irish team includes 10 women who range in age from 12 to 68 and they have all received organ transplants including kidney, pancreas, liver, and heart. Seven of the kidney recipients received their transplant from living donors.
Over 1000 athletes from 50 countries are participating in the 19th World Transplant Games which are a celebration of life and the strength and generosity of human spirit. The Games include a broad range of events including Track & Field, road races, cycling, swimming, golf, tennis, table-tennis, badminton, squash, lawn bowls, petanque and Tenpin Bowling.
At the previous World Transplant Games which were held in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2011, the Irish team of 33 athletes who ranged in age from 9 to 70+, secured a world record in one event and picked up a massive haul of 39 medals comprising 13 Gold, 14 Silver and 12 Bronze and were placed 11th overall on the medals table.
The Irish Kidney Association is responsible for managing Transplant Team Ireland’s participation at the Games. Individual athletes have undertaken fundraising activities to offset some of the expenses incurred in travelling to and participating in the Games.
National Team Manager, and World Transplant Games Federation Councillor, Colin White, said that “the athletes’ participation in the Games offers a great opportunity to showcase the success of organ donation and transplantation. Their achievements offer inspiration to others experiencing organ failure and an impetus to the general public to embrace organ donation”.
The Transplant Team Ireland panel for the 19th World Transplant Games:
Seamus Eager (heart), Kilcoole, Co Wicklow
Tony Gartland (liver), Hacketstown, Co Carlow
Vienna White (kidney), Letterkenny, Co Donegal
John Connell (kidney), (living in Capetown, South Africa) from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
Sheila Gregan (kidney), Nenagh, Co Tipperary
Orla Hogan (kidney), Nenagh, Co Tipperary
Andrew Duncan (kidney), Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Robbie Lyons (kidney), The Swan, via Athy, Co Laois
Sinead McGowan (kidney), (living in China) from Renmore, Galway
Bridie Nicholson (kidney and pancreas), Sligo Town, Sligo
James Nolan (kidney), The Curragh, Co Kildare
Sonia Treacy (kidney), Newbridge, Co Kildare
Catherine Murphy (liver), Aghabullogue, Cork
Charlie Ryan (liver), Cobh, Cork (most senior team member)
Oisin O’Gorman (kidney), Lismore, Waterford (youngest member of team)
Eoin Hurley (kidney), Waterford city, Co Waterford
Deirdre Faul (liver), Dalkey, Co Dublin
James Reynolds (kidney), Tallaght, Dublin 24
Angela Sherlock (kidney), (living in Spain) from Walkinstown, Dublin 12
Dara McLaughlin (kidney), Lucan, Co Dublin
Brian Carney (kidney), Killester, Dublin 5
John Moran (kidney), Glasnevin, Dublin 11
Peter Heffernan (kidney), Skerries, Co. Dublin
Harry Ward (kidney), Baldoyle, Co Dublin (Team Captain)
Sinead O’Regan, Rosscarbery, Co Cork (Team Physio)
Yvonne Ryan, Ballinagarde, Ballyneety, Co Limerick (Team Doctor)
Colin White, Irish Kidney Association, from Balbriggan, Dublin (Team Manager)
Messages of support are proudly posted on the team blog www.transplantteamireland.ieMembers of the public can also offer messages of support in its Guestbook.
For organ donor cards Freetext DONOR to 50050 or contact the Irish Kidney Association on locall 1890 543639 or log on to www.ika.ie . You can now store your donor card details on your smart phone by downloading the free Organ Donor Ecard app
Flight information: The team will return to Dublin airport (Terminal Two) on Monday, 5thAugust (flight from Dubai, Emirates Airlines EK 161Y) at 12.15
For further information contact: Gwen O’Donoghue, Publicity Co-ordinator, Transplant Team Ireland Mob. 086 8241447
Harry Ward, Team Captain, Mob. 085 2137512