We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of John Walsh, co-founder and CEO of the US Alpha-1 Foundation on Tuesday, March 7th. John was an inspirational leader for the Alpha-1 community not just in the USA but worldwide. A tireless advocate for Alpha-1 and the search for a cure, John’s enthusiasm was infectious and his warm personality opened many doors in the name of Alpha-1. He was very proud of his Irish roots and was a frequent visitor to Ireland. John was a tremendous support to the Alpha One Foundation in Ireland and a trusted friend. In October 2014 John was a special guest speaker at our Annual Alpha-1 Conference and everyone who heard him speak that day left with a spring in their step. He will be sorely missed by all of his friends here in Ireland. Condolences to his wife Diane, his daughter Linda and the rest of John’s family.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

To read more about John’s amazing life and career, visit http://www.alpha1.org/remembering-john-walsh.

John Walsh visit2 Nov 2010 

John Walsh with Professor Gerry McElvaney on his visit to the Alpha One Foundation in Dublin in 2010.


John addressing a lecture hall packed full of Alpha-1 researchers in Dublin in November 2010. 

JWW Prof Josephine Orla Chopin 2010
John attending the Chopin Recital in aid of Alpha-1 in the Mansion House in Dublin in November 2010. Pictured are Professor McElvaney, Orla Keane, John Walsh, and Josephine McGuirk.

John wife Diane Chopin Alpha1 Recital Dublin Nov2010

John with his wife Diane at the Chopin Recital in Dublin in November 2010.

John Irish Delegation A1F International Congress 2013

John pictured with Angela McBride and the Irish delegation at the 4th International Patient Congress held in Barcelona in April 2013.

John and McElvaney team ATS 2014

John with Professor McElvaney and his team of Alpha-1 Researchers at the Alpha-1 Foundation Award night at the American Thoracic Society meeting in May 2014.

John AOF conference Dublin 2014

John speaking at the Alpha One Foundation Annual Conference in Dublin in 2014.



The 6th Alpha-1 Global Patient Congress is taking place from April 6th to 8th in Lisbon, Portugal. This biennial conference is an opportunity for the Alpha-1 community around the world to meet, learn, and share information. The conference starts on Thursday evening, April 6th, with a welcome reception and networking dinner where Alpha-1 patients, physicians and researchers can interact. On Friday, the programme runs from 9am to 5pm and on Saturday from 9am to 12 noon.

If you would be interested in attending this congress as an Irish delegate please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday March 20th for more information

As a six month old infant, Catriona Garry developed full-blown liver cirrhosis caused by Alpha-1. Three years later, in 1999, she received a life-saving liver transplant. In 2008, she also received a kidney transplant. Inspired by her daughter, Catriona's mother Joan is now pursuing a nursing degree.


To read more click here. With thanks to our friends in the US Alpha-1 Foundation for sharing this article. 


What is Alpha-1 Antitrypsin?
Alpha-1 antitrypsin is a vital protein produced by the liver to protect the lungs. It provides protection from the harmful effects of infections and inhaled irritants, particularly tobacco smoke. It can be easily measured by a simple blood test. 
What is Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency?
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (Alpha-1) is a genetic condition which, after cystic fibrosis, is the commonest genetic disorder in Ireland. It severely affects more than 15,000 people, with another 250,000 carriers also at risk of lung and liver disease on the island of Ireland. It is a proven genetic risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
How Do I Get Tested?
The Alpha One Foundation provides free testing for Alpha-1 as part of a national screening programme which is funded by the HSE. For more details ring 01-8093871 or email alpha1@rcsi.ie.