Monday 19 February 2018

Rugby-mad Derek donates a 'Declan Kidney' to his pal

Rugby pals Robbie Merrigan( left) Derek Brennan (right). Derek donated his kidney to Robbie.
Rugby pals Robbie Merrigan( left) Derek Brennan (right). Derek donated his kidney to Robbie.
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

The kidney donated from one rugby pal to another has been nicknamed 'Declan' after the former Ireland coach.

Derek Brennan has proved himself to be the ultimate friend to Robert Merrigan by offering him his kidney.

Munster supporter Robert (36), from Clarina, in Limerick, was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure in January 2012 and was put on dialysis 24 hours later. However, last summer he became very ill.


The businessman had previously lived in Dublin and lined out with Swords Rugby Club, where he met team mate Derek Brennan, a Leinster supporter.

When Derek (54), who lives in Swords, heard Robert was very ill, he generously stepped forward to offer his own kidney. After a series of tests carried out over many months, the operation was finally able to go ahead last Monday.

"The kidney is now known as 'Declan Kidney'," Robert joked, explaining how they jokingly named it after the ex-champion Ireland and Munster coach.

"When I got sick, the word got out through the rugby club Facebook page, and I was not in a good way.

"I got a text from Derek the following day saying he would like to donate his kidney. When Derek says he is going to do something, he tends to do it. I will be grateful for every day for the rest of my life."

The men have been friends for eight years. Both were good yesterday after the life-saving procedure. In fact, Derek was able to be discharged from Beaumont yesterday, five days after the operation.

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