Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness


Mary Kennedy Endorses Organ Donor Awareness

Mary Kennedy continues her voluntary role of Ambassador for Organ Donor Awareness.  This is Mary's second year endorsing organ donor awareness and promoting Organ Donor Awareness Week, organised by the Irish Kidney Association from March 28th - April 4th.

Speaking about her ambassador role Mary said, “It is a great honour to be asked by the Irish Kidney Association once again this year to help create awareness for the struggle for people with organ failure and to encourage conversations by the public amongst their families to consider organ donation in the event of untimely death. I think that most people have been touched by organ donation in some way.  I have seen it from both sides. My late uncle, Tom White was on dialysis for many years with kidney failure.  I am deeply aware that the heartache experienced by my dear friends Martina and Denis Goggin, when their only son Éamonn tragically died in 2006, was tempered with the great consolation that the lives of four people were saved through honouring their son’s wish that his organs be donated.  Following Éamonn’s death their brainchild for a ‘Circle of Life’ Garden in Salthill was realised. The Garden, which was officially opened last year by President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, is a sanctuary for organ donor families and a reminder of the great gift of life that is organ donation".

mary kennedy

The 2015 campaign will feature Mary Kennedy in radio advertising as well as on posters, encouraging the public to support organ donation.  She will also attend the campaign’s national launch by the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, T.D.  at the Mansion House, Dublin  on Monday, 23rd March.

There are over 700 people in Ireland awaiting life-saving heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplants. Thanks to the gift of organ donation over 3000 people in Ireland are enjoying extended life.

Decline in Donations/Transplantations in 2014

There was a sharp decline in the number of deceased donors in 2014 from its previous year, 63 as compared with 86 in 2013. In total 251 people received organ transplants in 2014 as compared with 294 in 2013. The Chief Executive of the Irish Kidney Association, Mark Murphy, said when these figures were announced at the beginning of this year that, “The Organ Procurement Service’s transition period, which we are now in the middle of, gives us hope in future years that the organ donor rates for Ireland will be far better than they are now. The commencement of an Audit of organ donor activity inside the country’s intensive care facilities is essential.”

Exceptional Year for Heart Transplantation

2015 marks the 30th anniversary in Ireland of Heart Transplantation which is carried out at the Mater Hospital, Dublin and the hospital also celebrates the 10th anniversary of lung transplantation this year. Despite 2014’s mediocre performance in liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation, the Mater Hospital enjoyed an exceptional year for heart transplantation with 18 heart transplants taking place, its highest in a decade,  and the Mater hospital almost matched its previous year’s record for lung transplantation with 31 lung transplants taking place, just one less than in 2013. 44 liver transplants were carried out at St. Vincent’s University Hospital last year, 20% less than in 2013. In 2014, 152 people received kidney transplants at Beaumont Hospital of which 40 were from living donors and 112 from deceased donors. 

organ donor awareness week

The Irish Kidney Association is the national organisation charged with the promotion and distribution of the organ donor card in Ireland, on behalf of Organ Donation Transplant Ireland.
Free information fact files, which accompany organ donor cards, are obtainable from the Irish Kidney Association and are available nationwide from pharmacies, GP surgeries and Citizen Information Offices etc. 

Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association  LoCall 1890 543639 or Freetext the word DONOR to 50050. Visit website

It is now possible to store an organ donor card, the ‘ecard’ on Smart mobile phones.   Simply search for ‘Donor ECard’ at the IPhone Store or Android Market Place.

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