Eddie Flood, chairman of the IKA, chats with Larry Moloney, a member of the Munster rugby side who defeated the All Blacks in 1978. Mr Moloney presented members with a signed rubgy ball to mark the opening of the Munster Kidney Centre.

Local man begins third term as IKA chairman

Damien Maher

Killucan man Eddie Flood has returned as chairman of the Irish Kidney Association for a third year.

Eddie, who received a kidney transplant 13 years ago, was reappointed at the recent annual general meeting in University College, Cork. It represents another proud achievement for the Dublin native who continues to play a prominent role in the organisation at national level.

“There was no election of officers this year as the national body is going to reconfigure the membership of the board to more manageable numbers without compromising on patient services. It is also aimed at safeguarding the future of the association for the next 50 years,” he explained.

Prior to the AGM, Mr Flood attended the opening of Munster Kidney Support Centre in Wilton Ave, Cork, located 150m from the dialysis unit. It is a convenient new centre, a home from home for all patients in the region. The six-bedroom en suite, wheelchair accessible rooms, together with counselling facilities were formally opened by Minister Michael McGrath.

“We held our AGM in University College Cork, a massive building. The meeting was followed by a talk by Prof Liam Plant, a retired nephrologist from Cork University Hospital, on what the future holds for kidney patients, which generated keen interest,” he said.

“It was a very well attended meeting; thanks to all members for that as it has been a very difficult year.”

The Irish Kidney Association provides many forms of assistance and support including financial, emotional and practical support to all kidney patients, their families and carers.

Eddie works with IKA CEO, Carol Moore and the staff at Donor House to provide support to some 3,000 people, including volunteers from 25 branches nationwide.

It is a busy period for the organisation and their Ring of Kerry fundraising cycle took place last weekend. Dr Colm Henry, the HSE’s chief clinical officer, was among the participants.

Westmeath IKA Branch

On the home front, the Westmeath IKA Branch enjoyed a very busy year.

“It was great as we had 1,400 people in the Cathedral of Christ The King, Mullingar for the first live service in four years to remember deceased members. We are very grateful to Bishop Tom Deenihan; the local PP; Fr Barry White, the chief celebrant, and all participants. It was an emotional day for most people,” he said.

“There was great music by the Choral Society and Aoife Nally played the pipes. Our thanks to those and to Úna McCarthy and Jane Jonhson for beautiful floral displays in church. We want to acknowledge the local gardaí, civil defence and all who helped make it a great occasion.”

The Westmeath branch met recently, supported by the two national volunteer development managers from Donor house, Deirdre Markey and Sarah Buchanan.

“They are travelling to all branches in Ireland to help reinvigorate committees after the pandemic. It is a very worthwhile exercise,” Eddie said.

Mr Flood will have the mobile demonstration unit in Tullamore for the annual show on August 11 and members of the public are welcome to attend the stand.

On August 17, the branch have their annual cycle from Achill to Westport and Mr Flood has sponsorship cards for anyone who wants to lend support.

Those wishing to participate or support the fundraiser can contact Eddie Flood on 087 9665750.