After another successful year at the World Transplant Games, Team Ireland and their impressive array of medals touched down in Dublin Airport yesterday.
The four Irish athletes, who have all had organ transplants, took home a total of 13 medals, placing Ireland 15th on the medals table overall.
The week-long games, held in Argentina, featured 44 countries and almost 800 participants, all organ transplant participants.
Tony Gartland, from Hacketstown, Co Carlow, secured four medals in the 50 to 59-year-old age category — one gold and three silver. Tony, who in 1993 was the first person in the country to undergo a liver transplant, retained his champion title for the 5k race walk event and placed second in the 5km, 1500m, and 800m road races.
“I really enjoyed taking part in the games and I see it as a way to honour my organ donor who gave me a second chance at life,” he said.
Teammate Deirdre Faul, a liver transplant recipient, again retained her number one spot in squash — the Dublin woman has come first in the event for the last five games in a row.
Deirdre also won gold in the 400m freestyle and silver in the 100m breaststroke in her age category.
“The games always lift you up, meeting friends from other countries and the sheer awesomeness of the event, living life to the full thanks to the gift of life given to us by donors,” she said.
Congratulations to our successful transplant athletes who return home this evening from the World Games in Argentina with 13 medals— Kathleen Lynch (@KathleenLynch05) August 31, 2015
Kieran Murray from Donegal, a kidney transplant recipient, won three medals — a gold medal in both the 5km road race and the 1500m track event and a bronze in the 800m track race.
Peter Heffernan, a kidney transplant recipient from Co Dublin, won gold in both the 50m backstroke and 1000m backstroke and a bronze for the 1000m freestyle event in his age category.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved