Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness


Tree Planting Event at Commemorative Garden

On Saturday, lst February, a very special tree planting event was held at the Circle of Life National Organ Donor Commemorative Garden currently being created in the seafront Quincentennial Park in Salthill, Galway.

This event ceremonially marked the conclusion of the main construction phase of the development and, despite the dreadful stormy weather conditions on the day, was attended by members of the organ donation communities from right across the Island of Ireland in an unprecedented gesture of solidarity and support for the garden itself and for the cause of organ donation.

Trees which were sponsored by some Local Authorities, North and South, were planted by representatives of the organ donation community, including donor families and recipients, the medical profession, the Air Corps and local community groups, on the first day of Spring; a date chosen to symbolise the renewal of life through donation.

While it might have been the first day of Spring however, it certainly didn't feel like it, but the weather did not dampen the spirits and good will of all those who participated and attended the tree planting ceremony.

The first tree planted was by the Mayor of Galway City, Cllr. Padraig Conneely being assisted by Denis Goggin.  Also in the picture Cllr. Donal Lyons and Cllr. Terry O'Flaherty.

Steve Carter, represented donor families in the North and also the Northern Ireland Transplant Forum.   Dr. Eddie Rooney with John & Fiona Donnelly who represented Altnagelvin Hospital and the Mayor and City of Derry                                                                                            


Musicians, Tom, Íde, Johnny Óg and Mary providing entertainment on the day

Brendan O'Dowd represented the Air Corps.  Greg Dooley, Offaly, represented donor families


The three hard working men of the project waiting in the wings:  Ray Ó Flaithearta, Mike Walsh and Patrick Harris


Martina and Denis Goggin, Strange Boat.   Wind blown guests who attended the event.

Chatting at the ceremony, Sonia Treacy, kidney recipient, Mr. Padraic Regan, Consultant at Galway University Hospital and Dr. Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland and Chair of the NI committee on organ donationa and transplantation. 

Aurna O'Grady-Corcoran planting the tree on behalf of  Salthill/Knocknacarra GAA.                                                                 Steve  Carter with Brendan O'Dowd of the Air Corps


John and Fiona Donnelly from Derry, Ann Harrington from Bangor and Eddie Rooney from Belfast

Edel McGrath and the students of Salerno Secondary School            General view


Ten year old Rory Barrett with his father Niall who donated a kidney to him as he was born with no kidneys

  Dr. Enda O'Byrne of Salthill Active Retired.  Phyllis Cunningham, Transplant Coordinator


James Reynolds, Harry Ward, Transplant Team Ireland with Mark Murphy, Chief Executive, Irish Kidney Association


Prof. Jim Egan, Director of  Organ Donation/Transplantation Office, HSE.   Jean Kelly, Director of Nursing at Galway University Hospital with Padraic Regan, Consultant at GUH.                                  


   Sonia Treacy, Kildare,  twice kidney recipient, represented all recipients, with Denis and Patrick Harris, Landscaper


Ray Ó Flaithearta, stone carver with Dónal Ó Cualáin, Chief Supt. of An Gárda Siochána.    Cara Mac Shane, Chairperson of Moyle District Council with Dr. Eddie Rooney.


Galway Officials braving the elements at the tree planting event.



To view images of the work in progress of the commemorative garden click on this link:

Forum Discussion at NUIG

In conjunction with the tree planting event, a forum/discussion was hosted by NUIG at the College Campus on Friday evening 31st January when people affected by donation/transplantation shared their experiences and their personal stories. Dr. Eddie Rooney, Chief executive of the Public Health Agency in NI and Chair of the NI Committee on Organ Donation and Transplantation was the main speaker at the event.

To read more about this Forum: 


Back to top of page
Copyright © 2024 Strange Boat Donor Foundation. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.