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  • Northside West

SPORT: A tremendous UK medal haul for our Dublin transplant team

Saturday, 18th August, 2018 2:00pm
SPORT: A tremendous UK medal haul for our Dublin transplant team

Laura McDowell (9) with her parents Greg and Aoife, brother Stephen and little sister Catherine at the games.

SPORT: A tremendous UK medal haul for our Dublin transplant team

Laura McDowell (9) with her parents Greg and Aoife, brother Stephen and little sister Catherine at the games.

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A NORTHSIDE kidney transplant recipient was amongst a group of 12 Irish athletes ranging in age from nine to 70+ who won over 20 medals at the recent British Transplant Games while representing Dublin.

Ron Grainger from Castleknock is an urologist who has treated kidney patients and he himself underwent a kidney transplant.

He has previously represented Ireland as part of Transplant Team Ireland at World and European Transplant Games and he scooped two gold medals at the British Transplant Games, which took place in Birmingham over the August Bank Holiday.

Proving deserving of his nickname ‘The Flying Doctor’ for his speed on track, Ron, who competed in the 60-69 age category continued his winning streak since his stellar performance at the European Transplant Games earlier this summer by going on to win two gold medals for the 100m and 200m races.

The Dublin teams racked up a total of 21 medals including nine gold, seven silver and five bronze. The team included five liver, five kidney and two bone marrow transplant recipient.

The Games, which promote organ donation, attracted over 1,000 transplant recipients.

A small Dublin children’s team of three amassed five gold and two silver medals and surpassed a world transplant record in the process.

Liver transplant recipient Tara Madigan (11) put in stellar performances winning three gold medals at her second British Transplant Games in her 9-11 age category for the 3km race and 50m race and Long jump event.

She also won three gold at the British Games last year. Tara’s gold medal for her record breaking Long Jump of 3.29 meters was significantly further than the current World Transplant Games record in the 9-11 age record of 2.87 meters, set by a New Zealand girl at the 2009 World Transplant Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Also putting in great performances in the 9-11 age category and at her first ever Transplant Games was Laura McDowell (9) from Dalkey who underwent a living donor Liver transplant in the UK.

Laura, although not a medallist, enjoyed competing in the Ball Throw, Long Jump and 50m race and proved to be a welcome newcomer to the junior team.

Her parents Aoife and Greg, brother Stephen and sister Catherine were proud to support her at the games.

Sweeping the decks in his competitions by securing two gold and two silver medals was Jack O’Brien, (15) from Navan, Meath, whose mother Cassandra donated a kidney to him when he was just two-years-old.

Jack won his two gold medals in the 5km race and Long Jump and two silver medals in the 100m and 200m races.

Dublin Teams’ Games Manager, Colin White, said the British Transplant Games was an extremely well organised event with excellent facilities.

“We are fortunate to be included in this annual celebration of the gift of life,” he added.

“Our Dublin Adults and Dublin Children’s teams had some new members this year and it was great to have them on board. With the World Transplant Games in Newcastle next year and Dublin being the host city of the European Championships in 2020 we have an exciting couple of years ahead and we are looking forward to more newcomers swelling our ranks.”

The Irish Kidney Association manages and coordinates the Dublin teams at the British Transplant Games.

Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01-6205306 or free text the word DONOR to 50050. Visit website

You can also indicate your wishes to be an organ donor on your driver’s license, which is represented by Code 115.

Ron Grainger from Castleknock won two gold medals at the Transplant Games.

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