Showcasing the importance of organ donation, 34 athletes will represent Ireland at the 8th European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championships in Krakow, Poland, on 16th-23rd August. The Irish team, which comprises 25 men and 9 women ranging in age from 16 to 76, includes 29 transplant recipients (5 liver, 22 kidney, 1 combined kidney/pancreas, 1 bone marrow) as well as 5 people who are receiving dialysis treatment.

Among them are four Limerick athletes including former Ireland rugby international Richard Costello, who is a first time participant, and John Loftus from Clarina who is very well known in Limerick G.A.A. circles and who is veteran of the Games and has amassed a very impressive haul of medals over the years. Two other Limerick newcomers to the games are Thomas O’Doherty, Bruff, and Madeline Donaghy, Hospital.

Athletes will compete in badminton, tennis, cycling, darts, golf, petanque, swimming, table tennis, ten pin bowling, volleyball, mini-marathon, track and field and for the first time this year a summer biathlon event.

At the previous European Games which were held in Zagreb, Croatia, in 2012, with a smaller team of 26, Ireland was placed third on the medals table after France and Slovenia out of 28 participating countries with an impressive haul of 14 gold, 15 silver and 21 bronze medals.

Also travelling with the team will be Team Medical Director Dr. Yvonne Ryan, a Limerick native, who has been on the panel since the Games were held in Dublin in 2010.