Team Ireland - Transplant & Dialysis Sports

Irish Team - World Games Success!

Irish Team - World Games Success!



The taste of glory was most definitely shining down on members of Transplant Team Ireland at the World Transplant Games in Perth as they added another world transplant record and 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 bronze to their medals tally today (Friday) while our two triathletes put in a valiant performance. Their total medals tally at the Games, with all competition events now concluded, is 7 Gold, 6 Silver and 4 bronze . An impressive performance for a relatively small Irish team of 14! It has yet to be confirmed where they were placed overall on the medals table amongst 1,520 supporters from 46 countries.

The first person to undergo a liver transplant in Ireland 30 years ago at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Tony Gartland from Hacketstown, Carlow (on the Wicklow border), is not only celebrating the successful longevity of his transplant. Today the 59-year-old won a Bronze medal for his stamina in coming third in the 5,000 meters racewalk event.

The unstoppable Cork woman Mairead O’ Mahony who has garnered huge respect not just from her home team and supporters but from teams around the world. With temperatures in the searing sun in the early 30s, she stormed through the 800m race at the WA Athletics Stadium seizing her second Gold medal this week. A couple hours later she was on the medals podium for a second time for winning a Silver medal in the Javelin event for her throw of 19.74 meters. Her first-time representing Ireland in Transplant Sport, the 44-year-old mother of one who received a bone marrow transplant from her donor brother when she was 18, has now earned the reputation as ‘the one to beat’ in world transplant athletics.

Mairead will return to Dublin airport this Sunday afternoon laden down with 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze weighty medals for athletics. Family friends and supporters will show up to greet Mairead and her teammates, fellow Corkonian Pat O’Sullivan as well as Tony Gartland (Carlow), Finbar O’Reagan (Dublin) and Bernadette Cox (Kildare).

Another ‘one to beat’ in athletics is Ron Grainger from Castleknock Dublin who has defied the concept of slowing down in old age. After making a world transplant time record (16.14) in the 100 m event yesterday (Thursday), the retired Urologist and kidney transplant recipient went on to break another world record today (Friday) in the 200m race with a time of 33.97 beating the previous record of 35.93 in the age category 70-79 for which he was rewarded with his second Gold medal. Proving his sporting diversity he also won a Silver and Bronze in Golf events earlier in the week. Dubbed ‘the flying doctor’ Ron is certainly enjoying his golden years. With extra luggage of 5 heavy medals to take around with him (2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze medals), Ron will be extending his time in Australia with his wife Joyce who has been his number one supporter throughout the games.

Earlier today triathletes and kidney transplant recipients Sheila Gregan from Nenagh, Co Tipperary and Bryan Duignan from Palatine, Carlow were competing in the triathlon event (swim 500m, cycle 20kand 5km run. Both athletes put in valiant efforts and even though they didn’t reach they medals platform they can return home proud of their performances and embracing their positive experience at the games. Today Sheila was placed 4th with a time of 1.32.17 while Bryan was placed 7th with his time of 1.21.32. Bryan will be returning home to Dublin airport on Thursday with his partner Lara and three young children who have been his biggest fans throughout. Sheila will be staying on to enjoy spending time with her daughter who lives down under.

Tony Gartland described his experience after clenching Bronze success in his final race of the games having also competed in two events earlier in the week he said, “It is 30 years since my transplant and at this stage I am acutely aware of how precious life is. I am very grateful for the last 30 years. Sport has done so much for me over those years. I can never thank my Donor enough. All I can do is live my life to the fullest extent possible. Medals are nice but they are a bonus.”

Ron Grainger spoke today after his 200m race saying, “ In the 200 meters I ran my heart out and I’m delighted to have won the race and broken a world transplant time record for my age. I am so grateful to my donor for making it possible for me to be here.”

A report on the Irish team’s experience at the games and the finals medals tally will be posted on the team website

Five members of the team and some of their travelling supporters are due to arrive back at Dublin airport (Terminal One) on a Qatar flight (via Doha) this Sunday, 23rd April at 1.40pm.

Ranging in age from 36 right up to 75, the current Transplant Team Ireland panel of 10 inspirational men and 4 women taking part in the World Transplant Games in Perth have all received organ transplants including 2 liver, 2 bone marrow, and 10 kidney. They are among 1,524 participants from 46 countries, all embracing their gift of life and honouring their donors in this celebration of life through sport.

Competition at the Games is by age category and Transplant Team Ireland will have representatives in the following eleven sports: Cycling; Darts; Golf; Lawn Bowls; Pétanque; Road Race; Swimming; Table Tennis; Ten Pin Bowling; Tennis; and Triathlon.

Each of the athletes has funded their participation in the Games (Games registration, flights, accommodation, and meals) through fundraising in the name of the Irish Kidney Association/Transplant Team Ireland, and using their own funds. The team is proud to wear the Team Kit which, this year, has been sponsored by the Health Services Staffs Credit Union (HSSCU).

To find out more about the World Transplant Games visit website and to find out more about members of Transplant Team Ireland and to follow their progress at the Games, you can follow the team blog; The World Transplant Games has its own App. which contains information on competition schedules, venue locations and results, just search for WTG Event in the App store.

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

CARLOW: Brian Duignan, Palatine (kidney)

Tony Gartland, Hacketstown near WICKLOW (Liver)

CORK: Michael Kiely, Ballylanders, Mitchelstown, on LIMERICK border (living kidney donor)

Pat O’Sullivan, Mallow (kidney)

Hugh Nolan, Donaraile (kidney)

Mairead O’Mahony, Berrings (bone marrow)

GALWAY: Teresa Smyth, Williamstown, Dunmore, Tuam (kidney)

KILDARE: Bernadette Cox, Newbridge (kidney)

LIMERICK: John Loftus, Clarina (kidney)

MEATH: Tony Gavigan, Navan and native of LONGFORD father of deceased donor (kidney)

TIPPERARY: Sheila Gregan, Nenagh, (kidney)

DUBLIN: Ron Grainger, Castleknock, D 15 (kidney)

Finbar O’Regan, Pearse Street, Dublin 2 (Liver)

Nick Heather, Sutton, Dublin, now living in Melbourne, Australia (bone marrow)

TEAM MANAGER, Colin White from Balbriggan, Dublin

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The Irish Transplant Football team will take part in an 11 a side exhibition match against Féilecáin  (a group of Bereaved Fathers, who  have come together to support each other after the loss of a  child)  in Cork City Grounds at Turners Cross, Cork
(16 Gold, 9 Silver and 6 Bronze)
Team Ireland - Transplant & Dialysis Sports

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