Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness


Circle of Life Garden 10th anniversary event

Hundreds of Donor Families and Organ Recipients attended Circle of Life Garden 10th anniversary event.

On behalf of our charity, Strange Boat Donor Foundation, we would like to express our deep appreciation to all who attended the 10th anniversary event in the Circle of Life Garden on Saturday last.  It truly was a very special and memorable occasion.

The sun shone brightly as people gathered, and the harmony singing of the Galway Baytones Choir created a warm and welcoming atmosphere before Galway City Mayor, Cllr. Eddie Hoare and other speakers took their seats.

Hundreds of Donor Families and organ recipients travelled from across the country to attend the event, and were joined by Organ Donation Nurse Managers from the various hospitals and transplant centres, as well as other members of the medical profession and associations involved in organ donation. 

Though emotional at times, those present said they felt it was comforting and uplifting knowing their loved ones were being acknowledged and remembered. Donor Families, who in their own grief, wanted to be there to share with others, and organ recipients so grateful for their donors. 

Dr. Brian O’Brien, consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at Cork Cork University Hospital and Director of the ODTI gave some very interesting information about organ donation in Ireland, and also spoke about the new legislation soon to be implemented.  


A specially selected shrub, dedicated to organ donors and their families, was planted by Deborah & Eddie Burns from Co. Cork who donated their baby son Harvey’s organs eighteen years ago.  And a new stone seat in memory of the late Angeline Cooke, founder member of the Irish Kidney Association was unveiled by Eddie Flood, Chairman of the Association.

An inspirational message was read by Juliana Antonio Byrne, sister of Ernesto Antonio a heart recipient of 24 years who is currently walking 1,000 km in Spain, made possibly by his donor.


The ceremony concluded with a beautiful rendition of the Waterboys song, Strange Boat, sung by Eleanor Shanley, a good friend of the garden, who sang it specially at Saturday’s event to remember Eamonn, the inspiration for the creation of the garden and whose birthday it was on the day.

As Denis said in his final remarks, “Today was truly a day when the organ donation community came together to remember and celebrate the lives, memories and generosity of organ donors and their families, down through the years. It has also been most heartwarming to see so many of you join us for this event, which is a testament to the regard in which the Circle of Life Garden and its purpose is held.  It is also a reflection of the good will and generosity that helped create and sustain this special space over the past 10 years”. 

Míle buíochas agus gach rath agus beannacht oraibh go léir

Martina & Denis

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