John McAleer, 78, to compete in European Transplant Championships

GAA All Star Alan Brogan (centre) with Transplant Team Ireland's youngest member Matthew McNeive (18) and John McAleer (78). INLT 24-911-CON
GAA All Star Alan Brogan (centre) with Transplant Team Ireland's youngest member Matthew McNeive (18) and John McAleer (78). INLT 24-911-CON

Showcasing the importance of organ donation, John McAleer, 78 from Jordanstown is the oldest member of a 29-strong team who will represent Ireland at the European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championships in Vantaa, Finland in July.

John, a kidney transplant recipient, is a retired lecturer and former head of department at Ulster University will compete in golf at the championships, as well as in the Petanque singles and doubles events and 10-pin bowling.

This will be his fourth time competing at the biennial European event, and his second time as a kidney transplant recipient, as twice before he competed as a dialysis patient.

At the games in Krakow, Poland in 2014 he won a silver medal in golf, beating off stiff competition.

His first competition as part of Transplant Team Ireland was in 2010 as a dialysis patient when he reached the podium in the European event hosted in Dublin.

Two years earlier he won a medal at the European Championships in Croatia, again as a dialysis patient.

Just a year after his Croatia success, while out playing golf, he received a call for his life-changing kidney transplant at the City Hospital, Belfast. This long-awaited call came after undergoing four years of dialysis treatment.