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Irish golfers take on World Transplant Games

​​A 12 strong group of Irish golfers contest World Transplant Games in England

  • 15 August 2019

Picture: Ireland's golf team for the World Transplant Games

Twelve golfers from Ireland are competing at the World Transplant Games in Newcastle, England this month.

The golfers, 11 men and one woman, are among 38 members of Transplant Team Ireland to take part in various sports events at the Games, which take place from 17 to 24 August. Showcasing the success of organ transplantation, the golf tournament will be played at Close House, where Ireland's Paul Dunne clinched his maiden professional victory at the British Masters in 2017.

Marie O'Connor, a kidney transplant recipient from Lahinch, is Ireland's representative in the ladies golf event. O'Connor teams up Kieran Murray from Ramelton in Donegal, a fellow kidney recipient, for a mixed pairs event.

Ireland's oldest competitor, John McAleer (81) from Antrim, is no stranger to success. McAleer, a retired university lecturer, won two medals at the 2018 European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championships. He got the call for his life changing kidney transplant in 2013 while playing on the golf course.

The other members of the golf team: Michael Kiely, Cork; Pat O'Sullivan, Cork; Charlie Ryan, Cork; Michael Dwyer, Dublin; Ron Grainger, Dublin; James Nolan, Kildare; Eoin Hurley, Waterford; Garry Campbell, Wicklow; and Philip Kavanagh, Wicklow.
 
This will be the biggest ever Irish team and they will be among 2000 participants from more than 60 countries. Ranging in age from 16 to 81, the Irish team of 29 men and 10 women have had organ transplants including heart, lung, liver and bone marrow as well as kidney. 
 
Colin White, Transplant Team Ireland Manager, said: "Over the years golf has been one of the 'go to' sports as our golfers have achieved strong results every time they have competed at European and World level. The golf team are title holders of the 5 Five Nations Golf Shield, which they won in Livingston, Scotland in April 2019."

Dublin hosts the European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championships in August 2020. Athletes at the World Transplant Games will compete in their respective age categories in the following events: golf, badminton, cycling, darts, petanque, squash, swimming, table tennis, ten pin bowling, tennis, mini-marathon, track and field.

For more information on World Transplant Games and the Irish athletes visit the Irish team blog at www.transplantteamireland.ie   

Visit the Games website www.worldtransplantgames.org​
  
For organ donor cards Freetext DONOR to 50050 or visit website www.ikw.ie/get-a-donor-card

You can also download the IKA's digital organ donor to your smartphone. Your wishes to be an organ donor can also be included on the new format driving licence which is indicated on the back of the card by Code 115.