Belfast Telegraph

Ex-sport star Brolly donates kidney

A former gaelic football star is recovering in hospital after donating one of his kidneys to a friend.

Derry all-Ireland winner Joe Brolly, 42, donated the organ to Belfast PR executive and fellow GAA enthusiast Shane Finnegan.

The pair, who know each other from coaching an under-10s team at St Brigid's gaelic club in Belfast, are recovering in Guy's Hospital in London after the surgery earlier this week.

Two-time all-star Brolly, who now works as a barrister and TV sports pundit, approached Mr Finnegan when he heard he needed a live donor.

"I'm honoured to have been in the position to help Shane," he said from hospital.

"He's been waiting for a transplant for over six years and when I heard that the only possibility of one was through a live donor I contacted his medical team. Of course, in my considered opinion it's all going according to plan - and thankfully the doctors concur."

Mr Finnegan, 40, has suffered from kidney problems for 20 years. Two previous transplants have failed - one of them after 12 years.

"Joe's altruism is overwhelming and of course there are no words to thank him or his family for his wonderful gift," said the father-of-three, who is a client director at leading Belfast public relations firm Aiken PR.

"I know it's early days but I'm so relieved that it's all going well for both of us so far."

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