The National Organ Procurement Programme at Dublin's Beaumont Hospital has said that 2009 was a record year for donations and kidney transplants.

There were 270 organs obtained from 90 individuals, an increase of 21% on the previous year.

Of the organs offered, 172 were used for kidney transplants, 68 for liver transplants, 17 for heart transplants and 13 for lung transplants.

The number of kidney transplants increased by 11% and there were 18 living-donor kidney transplants performed during the year.

Mr David Hickey, clinical director for nephrology, urology and transplantation at Beaumont said the levels of donation would not have been possible without the courage and generosity of families at times of great personal loss.

He said he would like to see an increase in the number of transplant co-ordinators at a regional level, to promote more organ donation.

Mr Hickey said there was considerable discussion about possible future approaches to obtaining organs and he believed the best approach was the voluntary 'opt in' system, which currently exists.