Good Times for Charlie and World champion Deirdre on second day of World Transplant Games in Malaga

Press Release                                                                                           27 June 2017

The unstoppable Cobh native Charlie Ryan has won his third medal at the 21st World Transplant & Dialysis Games in Malaga – a Bronze in the Triples Darts event with fellow Corkman Mike Keohane (from Roscarbery, and like Charlie is also a liver transplant recipient) and Dubliner Lenny Ryan. This brings Charlie’s medal tally so far on the second day of the week-long World Games to 2 Gold and 1 Bronze with more events yet to take place as they games continue until 2nd July.

His teammate Deirdre Faul defended and retained her world champion title in Squash today, her sixth Gold in a row at World Transplant Games events.

As the second day at the Games draws to a close full results have yet to come in from all of the golf events as the eleven Irish golfers battled it out earlier today in the Spanish heat at the beautiful Guadalhorce Golf Club, located on the outskirts of Malaga.

Earlier today Charlie Ryan also won a Gold in the Darts singles event after also winning a Gold yesterday in Petanque singles. Today saw Mike Keohane win his first medal at the Games and his triples Darts teammate Lenny Ryan, a kidney transplant recipient, also won a bronze yesterday in petanque singles.
At another venue in Malaga, Dubliner Deirdre Faul secured victory over stiff competition from opponents from France and Singapore in the Squash event where she reaffirmed her World Champion status. Deirdre, a liver transplant recipient from Dalkey, can now boast six in a row in Squash as she also won Gold at the 2007 Games in Thailand, 2009 in Australia, 2011 in Sweden, 2013 in South Africa and 2015 in Argentina.
Deirdre said after her win, “I’m delighted to get the six in a row in my 40-49 year age category. I want to thank my squash coach Frank Donnelly and all the squash players at my club, Old Belvedere. I am fourteen years transplanted this summer and I am so grateful to my donor and the donor family for making the tough decision to donate. Of course I would like to say thanks to my Dad and my sons for all their support.”
Later this week at the World Games, Deirdre, also a champion swimmer, will also take part in swimming events including 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle and 100m breast-stroke.
After winning his bronze in the triples darts events, liver transplant recipient Mike Keohane said, It was very tough competition. Every game was close. It was most enjoyable. You could sense the excitement in the room. My teammates were outstanding. I must mention Lenny’s superb performance. It was his first time competing in Darts and he was a class apart. We were beaten by one score in the final two games against Iran and Hungary so it really was very still competition. It was great to compete in a team event and have an Irish sports team on the world stage.”
After his win at the Darts singles event this morning, Charlie  said, “it was hard but very enjoyable set of games. I have been practicing every day so it’s great to get the result. I want to thank my donor and their family. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here today. It’s my ten year transplant anniversary this summer. I’ve won five European Gold medals in Darts and now I have achieved my first Gold in the World Games.

Nenagh native Orla Hogan, newcomer Aoife Murray (Dublin), Angela Sherlock (Dublin), Tony Gartland (Carlow) and Anthony Byrne (Dublin) competed in the Bowling singles events, all performed very well. Anthony Byrne from Artane, Dublin is competing at his very first World Transplant Games, he has previously joined the team at the British Games in Liverpool and Newcastle. Anthony spoke of Team Ireland’s’ welcoming nature earlier today, “I have been embraced with open arms, the team are so friendly”. He also spoke of his donor and their family saying that they were never too far away from his mind and how thankful he is to them.

Dublin duo, Team Captain Harry Ward and Paul Prendergast competed in the Pétanque Doubles event at the Los Prados Pétanque Club today. Both thoroughly enjoyed the competition and played well despite the extreme temperatures, narrowly missing out on placing.

Marie O’Connor from Lahinch  has won a Gold in Golf today, her second medal at the World Transplant Games as she won a Bronze in the Petanque yesterday. With results still coming in for the eleven golfers who took part in the scorching sun at golf events today held at the beautiful Guadalhorce Golf Course, it has been confirmed that Transplant Team Ireland’s Garry Campbell from Greystones in Wicklow also won a Gold medal while two Bronze medals were won by John McAleer from Antrim and Kieran Murray from Ramelton, Donegal.

An elated Marie O’Connor said after her golf event today, “I am just delighted. It was the one sport I would have hoped to get a medal in.So to win a medal in Golf is brilliant. This Gold medal and every medal I have won is thanks to my donor for giving me this chance. It’s great to keep the banner flag flying”.
Her teammate Kieran Murray, also a kidney transplant recipient, won a Bronze in Golf event age category 30-39 years. The father of three said, “It was very tough competition in strong heat. I’m delighted to win the bronze. This is my first world medal for Golf as I had previously won two gold medals for golf in the European Transplant  & Dialysis Championships.”

Transplant Team Ireland includes 4 liver and 23 kidney transplant recipients ranging in age from 30 to 79 who will compete against almost 1000 participants from more than 50 countries at what will be the largest gathering of transplant recipients this year.  The Irish Kidney Association is responsible for coordinating and managing Transplant Team Ireland’s participation at European and World Transplant Games events.

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 will also be 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 being training hard in anticipation of the competition in Malaga.  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     Visit the Games website


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  You can now download the IKA’s new digital donor card by visiting 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. 


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



Colin White, Team Manager Tel. 353 1 6205306 mob. 353 87 6843644 Email:

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

Harry Ward, Team Captain mob. 353 85 2137512 Email:

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