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  • Southside

Dalkey’s Deirdre flys the flag for Transplant Team

Saturday, 31st August, 2019 4:00pm
Dalkey’s Deirdre flys the flag for Transplant Team

Deirdre (51) is also an accomplished swimmer.

Dalkey’s Deirdre flys the flag for Transplant Team

Deirdre (51) is also an accomplished swimmer.

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MESSAGES of support have been rolling in for Transplant Team Ireland after they scooped gold, silver and bronze and broke world records at the World Transplant Games.

    Well-wishers, including the Minister of Health, Simon Harris and Sports Minister Shane Ross both congratulated the team while tweets from the British Embassy, Cycling Ireland, the Confederation of Golf in Ireland and para athlete Mary Fitzgerald have been supporting the team at the games in Newcastle.

   Video messages have also been sent to the team by the Rose of Tralee's Abu Dhabi Rose, Karen Cashman, whose younger sister Edel had a liver transplant.

   Irish soccer legend Niall Quinn also sent a video message to the team which he recorded in Newcastle before the games commenced.

   Members of the general public have continued to send in good messages to the team on social media even after they arrived home.

The first medal of Day 4 in Newcastle Gateshead was a gold for Deirdre Faul as she broke a second world time record for the second day in a row for swimming.

She then went on to win a silver medal in her final event at the games, the 50m breaststroke, bringing her incredible medals haul tally for Squash and Swimming to three gold and two silver.

This is an extraordinary achievement for the 51-year-old liver transplant recipient and mother of two.

Earlier in the week she won her her first gold medal at the games for Squash and her seventh in a row champion title since first winning the Squash event in 2007. 

On Tuesday she broke another World Transplant time record and won gold  for one swim event and a silver for another. Then,  in the 400m freestyle swimming event she finished with a time of 6.34.09, smashing the previous record of 6.48.7 set at the previous World Transplant Games in Malaga in 2017.

A few hours later she swam her way to futher success in her final event at the World Games, winning a silver medal in the 50m breaststroke and coming second with a time of 47.56 after the overall winner, an Australian lady.  

After her very physically demanding few days Deirdre said: “I’m really pleased with my games experience this year.

“Swimming was good with personal bests in the pool and breaking the record. I’m exhausted now, but the Squash and 400m swim were the ones I wanted to win and everything else was a bonus.

“I’m looking forward to a rest and something to eat now. I’d like to thank Swim Ireland’s Carol Finlay and Peter Conway  for supporting and coaching our swimmers during the year as well as MP swimming brand for sponsoring our swimming gear. I would like to thank my club Aer Lingus Masters Swimmers for all their encouragement at training sessions, my family for their support and allowing me the time to train and, of course, my donor.”

As well as Deirdre, the team that returned home to Dublin Airport's Terminal One on Saturday includes fellow Southsiders, Leonard Ryan of Tallaght (kidney) and Michael Dwyer, Cabinteely.

Transplant Team Ireland includes 38 athletes who have each undergone transplant including bone marrow, heart, liver, lung and kidney.

The World Transplant Games continued throughout the week with athletes competing in petanque, badminton, cycling, darts, golf, squash, swimming, table tennis, ten pin bowling, and tennis.

Liver transplant recipient Deirdre Faul from Dalkey has achieved an amazing ‘Seven in a Row’ World Transplant Squash Champion title.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here