PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                                28.06.17

Dubliner Deirdre Faul can bask in glory under the sizzling Spanish sun as she celebrates a world record and a hat trick of 3 Gold Medals at the 21st World Transplant Games in Malaga.  Her swimming teammate Peter Heffernan from Skerries, Dublin can also celebrate as he won a bronze medal today in swimming.

Just a day after winning Gold and retaining her World Champion title in Squash singles, at today’s swimming events, Deirdre seized another 2 Gold medals in swimming events and broke a world transplant games time record in the process. Her first swim competition today, the 200m Freestyle, the Dalkey native won gold breaking a record breaking time of 3.01.93 and beating the previous record of 3.05.08 set by Australian Lisa Cuthbertson at the 2009 games in Gold Coast Australia. Just a few hours later the unstoppable Deirdre, a liver transplant recipient, went on to win the 100m Breaststroke swim in her age category (40-49 years).

Shortly after Deirdre’s first race, kidney transplant recipient Peter Heffernan from Skerries, Dublin secured a Bronze medal for Transplant Team Ireland in the Back Stroke event.

Peter said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the race. It’s so fantastic to be able to take part and the ability to participate and do something that I love is all thanks to my donor. The competition is tough this year so I’m thrilled. A big crowd came down to support us from Transplant Team Ireland. They are a brilliant support.”

At two other venues in Malaga, Transplant Team Ireland’s Galway native Sinead McGowan and Tipperary’s Sheila Gregan braved the high temperatures when they took part in a Cycling competition while six other team members are taking part in Bowling.   While Sinead and Sheila didn’t secure a top three placing in cycling they said they enjoyed being part of it.  Sheila Gregan from Nenagh said after her cycling event, “I am surprised how much I enjoyed the cycle. Brilliant camaraderie between all cyclists. I have two events done and one to go, the virtual triathlon, which I will compete in tomorrow.”

Sinead McGowan was the first member of Transplant Team Ireland to bring in a medal on the first day of events, a Silver for the 5km road race.

Dubliners Paul Prendergast, Harry Ward, Lenny Ryan, Michael Dwyer, Anthony Byrne and Corkman Charlie Ryan all competed at the Bowling Doubles Events today. All competed exceptionally well and had fun while doing it! Dubliner Paul celebrates his Birthday today.


The 21st World Transplant Games come to a close on Sunday, 2nd July. The Irish team of 27 athletes are 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 of 27 athletes includes four newcomers. Although the main objective for team members is to embrace life and promote organ donation, some returning team members are 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 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.

The Irish Team  will return home on Sunday 2nd July and their Ryanair flight is expected to land in Dublin airport 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.

For more information on World Transplant Games and the Irish athletes visit the Irish team blog     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



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

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