The Rotary Club, Dublin

Founded 22nd February 1911

The Dubliner

All the news that's fit to print

President: Mariandy Lennon

Hon. Sec.: Tony Keegan

Telephone 087 244 2818 

Volume 26 Issue 28 

02 March 2020


Alan Harrison

Frank Bannister

David Booth

Delma Sweeney

Dermot Knight

Our speaker today is Rory McGee, Commissioner of Irish Lights.


President Mariandy Lennon chaired our meeting last Monday and Hon. Sec. Tony Keegan gave the invocation.


Forthcoming Speakers and Events 


Mar 9th  Simone Dunne – UCD food & health study

Mar 16th        NOTE – no meeting due to holiday weekend

Mar 23rd New Members Day

April 6th  Annual General Meeting


Rotary Rangers Walks


3rd Mar  Prince William’s Seat


17th Mar Greystones to Kilcoole & return (beach track)

24th Mar Devil’s Glen, Ashford


Visitors and Apologies

Hon. Secretary Tony Keegan presented apologies from PP Tony Gannon, Veronica Kunovska, Dorothy Hannon, Tony Murray, Delma Sweeney, VP Alexander Kopf, Gerry McLarnon and Patrick White.


Apologies: Special Appeal.

Every week there is a large number of people not at the lunch, but who have not sent in apologies. If you are going to be absent, please let Hon. Secretary Tony know by ‘phone or e-mail so that at least we know that you are OK.


We had two visitors last week.  Regular visitor Diana Taylor was introduced by her husband Brian Taylor.  We also had, from Switzerland, Marie-Laure de Preux.


Secretary’s Announcements

There were no announcements other than the apologies as listed above.


President’s Announcements

President Mariandy read a message from the President of RI Mark Moloney which had been received before the president’s dinner on Saturday 22nd February and Mariandy also confirmed that she had received messages of good wishes from the presidents of the Rotary Clubs of Dublin North, Dublin Central, Dun Laoghaire and also of Bonn, Germany.  The representative from RC Bonn had in fact presented President Mariandy with a banner from that club at the president’s dinner and had also invited the members of our club to join in the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of the composer Beethoven which is being held this year in his birthplace Bonn (among other cities).


President Mariandy also reminded that there will be a meeting of the book club in the National Yacht Club, on the 2nd March and on the 6th March there will be a Womens Day breakfast meeting with the ladies of the Rostrevor Club, Pearse Street and anyone interested in joining Mariandy at this breakfast (your Ed. understands it is not confined to women) should contact Mariandy. 


Mariandy also confirmed that there are 46 people registered to partake in the Masquerade Ball which is to be held on the 23rd May.  If interested, you should also contact Mariandy about this. 


Members Wishing to Speak

Rotarian Kenneth Carroll told last week’s meeting that his father PDG and PP John Carroll has suffered a fall and broken his leg and his ankle.  He is now recuperating in a nursing home. President Mariandy asked Kenneth to pass on the club’s best wishes for a speedy recovery to his father.


PP Derek Griffith surprised last week’s meeting by relating that the Rugglestone Marmalade business of his wife Bernie and himself is going green !  As many members had recently purchased marmalade from Derek (in support of the Father McVerry Trust) this caused no little astonishment.  Derek quickly explained that what he meant was that he hopes to have the empty glass jars returned to him and recycled and used in next year’s production line.  Derek thanked the members for their exceptional support which meant that Bernie and Derek’s target of raising €1000 for Father McVerry was actually exceeded by €500. 


PP Tom O’Neill also spoke to draw members attention to the fact that a recent issue of the free Gazette newspaper had reported on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (Tallaght), Dublin and the support given, among others, by our club following on from the very enjoyable quiz organised by our member Veronica Kunovska.  The library was also supported recently by a donation from this club’s Trust Fund, along with a number of other charities. 


One of your editors, David Booth, was rewarded for his efforts on behalf of the club, not just as an editor of The Dubliner, but also for risking his health in organising the Duck Race which takes place each year in the Dodder River at Milltown.  Unlike a former president (who shall remain nameless, for his own sake) Rotarian David does not don a sailing Dry Suit, but takes off his shoes and socks and rolls up his trousers and wades in to the river to recover the little ducks who become entangled in overhanging branches etc.  No matter what the weather, and with the assistance of Rotarian Delma Sweeney (also an Editor) and her husband Eamon, the Duck Race has become a feature of the outdoor social scene in Milltown as well as a very successful fundraiser.


Another of your Editors, namely Rotarian Dermot Knight, announced that the club’s website is now active and invited members to access it and to provide feedback to Dermot.  Dermot emphasised that it is and will continue to be a work in progress and he will welcome any suggestions for its improvement.  Please contact Dermot if you have any queries or questions. 


In case he should feel left out, another of your Editors, namely Frank Bannister, who gave the invocation at the Presidents Dinner on Saturday 22nd February, was also in the news recently as there was a list published in ‘the paper of record’ of the winners of the Irish Times Student Debating Competition over its 50 years of existence.  One of the early winners was a pair of students, including Rotarian  Frank, from Trinity College (although we will not embarrass Frank by stating how long ago it was). 


President Mariandy distributed birthday cards to recent anniversary babies PP Bernadette Mulvey and Rotarian David Horkan. 


Honorary Secretary Tony thanked the Club for the gift received by him at the Presidents Dinner for his term of service, which is now coming to an end as the Honorary Secretary of our Club.  This is Tony’s third (but not consecutive) term as Secretary and of course he also served as President of the Club in the year of the celebration of the centenary of the foundation of Rotary by Paul Harris.


Last Week’s Speaker


Rotarian Derek Byrne introduced our speaker last week who was Aoife Coffey, SRN, who undertook specific  training in the transplant of organs, and in particular liver transplant and then pancreas and kidney disciplines. 


Aoife Coffey thanked us for inviting her to speak to the club which is the first founded outside of North America.  Aoife explained that she has worked in transplant for thirty years.  All the centres for transplanting Ireland are in Dublin.  The Mater Hospital specialises in kidney transplants, St. Vincent’s Hospital in liver, kidney and pancreas.  For pancreas transplants, all the patients are young.  For kidneys it is generally patients between 16 – 73 years of age though mostly between 60-70 years.  Liver transplant has been on the increase due to among other things, obesity, in particular fatty liver disease.  The transplant service is entirely public, there is no private service.


Many different skills are required in the team and throughout the hospitals.  So they are looking for organ donors all the time (at this point PE Alan Davidson produced his organ donor card).  Donations can only be taken from live donors or donors having made appropriate arrangements, who die in hospital.  Donations of organs cannot be received from those who die outside hospital or as a result of accident or trauma.  It is hoped that legislation will be introduced which will reverse the present system so that persons who die in hospital will automatically have there organs donated (where suitable) rather than the current system where one has to opt in to donate.  It is the condition of the organ, rather than its age, that decides if it will be suitable to transplant.


Ireland’s longest surviving transplant patient is from 1993 and who was a patient of Aoife’s and he has won medals at the Transplant Games.  About twelve kidney transplants take place per year mostly to patients of Type A Diabetes.  Ireland has an organ sharing arrangement with the UK Donor Programme, and this is of great benefit to Ireland due to the shortage of donors.  And in this regard Aoife gave a moving example of a mother who had just given birth to twins but who required a kidney transplant and while there was none available in Ireland, a transplant was available from the UK and this saved the mother’s life.  Aoife recently attended the debs ball of the twins. 




Aoife explained how there is a waiting list of all types of transplant and so more donors are required.  In answer to a question from Rotarian Roger Owens, Aoife explained that alcoholics, who suffer from damage to liver and kidneys must abstain from alcohol for at least six months before transplant and at all times thereafter.  Any breach and the transplant will not be proceeded with. 


PP Paul Martin proposed the vote of thanks to Aoife Coffey for her interesting and explanatory talk about transplants.  Paul related a story of a school friend of his who suffered from liver failure and after a transplant he has made a remarkable recovery.  He encourages us all to get a donor card and to lobby politicians to bring in the opt out law.  As a thank you to Aoife, and to recognise Aoife’s support for our club, she was enrolled as a Friend of Rotary at the meeting. 

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