Transplant Games athletes feted at the Áras

Local athletes Monica Finn and John Cormican were special guests of President Mary McAleese in Áras an Uachtaráin last week as members of the Irish team that recently brought home a record haul of medals from the World Transplant Games.   President McAleese told the athletes they brought honour and glory to the country at the World Transplant Games in Bangkok earlier this month. The team won an unprecedented 39 medals.   The President was so impressed by their triumphs that she invited the team to a special reception in Áras an Uachtaráin, where she complimented the team for ‘bringing the issue of organ donation to a level of national prominence it never before enjoyed.’ She added, ‘You should feel very proud of yourselves. You have shown people that there can be a great life after getting a transplant, and you have touched the lives of more people than you realise. Maybe somebody was waiting for a transplant recently when they read about your exploits and it may have given them a lift, shown them what can be achieved after receiving a transplant.’ The 23-strong Irish team finished tenth on the medals table from 49 competing countries. ‘You did Ireland proud, and I am delighted to be able to host you here to tell you that,’ she added. Team manager Colin White said the reception at Áras an Uachtaráin was the highlight of a roller-coaster month for the team. ‘We came home on a high to a great reception, but this is even better,’ he said. To obtain a donor card, freetext the word DONOR to 50050.