Farmers get behind organ donor awareness campaign

Farmers at the recent National Ploughing Championships got behind the campaign for more people to carry organ donor cards. Over 2,000 cards were distributed to people who visited the Irish Kidney Association stand.

Many of those taking the cards did so as a result of watching the documentary on RTE 1 ‘Orla Tinsley: Warrior’, which was followed up with an audience discussion on ‘Claire Byrne Live’.

At the Irish Simmental Society stand, Tipperary farmer and kidney transplant recipient, Liam Martin (pictured above) from Templederry, played his part in generating organ donor awareness by distributing donor cards. He also raffled a heifer that he had donated to raise money for the Irish Kidney Association.

A Friesian heifer was raffled by another kidney transplant recipient, Larry Dunican, and his son Kieran.

Paul Palmer from Ballyouskill, on the Kikenny/Laois border, displayed his vintage tractor and self-made wagon at the vintage section at the championships while also distributing hundreds of organ donor cards.

His trusted tractor and wagon brought him around the 32 counties of Ireland over five weeks during the summer to raise awareness for organ donation. He was inspired to undertake the expedition, ‘The Ferguson 20/32 Challenge’ to support the Irish Kidney Association as a relative of his is in organ failure.

Mark Murphy, chief executive of The Irish Kidney Association, said that Orla Tinsley’s courage had moved people in a powerful and visceral way.

This gives hope to the 600 or more people on transplant waiting lists and their families and demonstrates, once again, how powerful individual stories shared by people who have been touched by organ failure and organ donation can capture the public’s empathy.

“We hope that the public will continue to have that vital discussion about organ donation with their loved ones and let their wishes be known.”

Organ donor cards can be requested through the Freetext number – Freetext DONOR to 50050, or via the Irish Kidney Association website:

A digital donor card is available from the Google playstore or iTunes. Your wishes can also be recorded when applying for the new format drivers’ licence, and code 115 will be put on the new licence.