Pictured at the National Launch of Organ Donor Awareness Week 2018 in the Mansion House Dublin on 27 March,with broadcaster Claire Byrne, the ambassador for organ donor awareness 2018 were Michael Kiely and his kidney donor sister Annette Betson, both from Mitchelstown; and (on right) Patrick O'Sullivan, chairperson of the Cork Branch of the Irish Kidney Association, from Mallow.

Siblings Michael Kiely and Annette Beston attended the National Launch of Organ Donor Awareness Week 2018 in the Mansion House Dublin recently, six years after Annette donated one of her kidneys to allow for Michael’s kidney transplant operation.

Michael continues to go from strength to strength following his surgery and both he and his sister Annette could be seen outside the ALDI store in Mitchelstown on Saturday last, distributing organ donor cards while selling ‘forget-me-not-flower’ emblems and other items as part of Organ Donor Awareness Week which also serves as a fundraising exercise for the Irish Kidney Association.

“It’s six years now since Michael’s kidney transplant operation,” said Annette, who says it has changed Michael’s life. “We are both feeling great and I would just like to tell anyone who is on the waiting list for a transplant operation to keep the bright side out.

“The key message of Organ Donor Awareness Week is that families need to talk to each other about organ donation and keep the reminders of their willingness to donate visible by carrying the organ donor card and permitting Code 115 to be included on their driver’s licence.”


Ireland has made huge strides in the diagnosis and outcomes for patients in organ failure, with organ transplantation since its beginning in Ireland back in December 1963 when the first kidney transplant was performed, according to Mark Murphy, Chief Executive of the Irish Kidney Association at the national launch of Organ Donor Awareness Week 2018.

The annual life-saving awareness campaign takes place from March 31 until April 7. This year marks a significant milestone for the Irish Kidney Association, the 40th anniversary of the organisation, which was founded in April 1978.