The RNLI held its Annual Presentation of Awards at the Guinness Storehouse on Friday (17 June 2016) where the charity presented 56 individual awards to volunteers from across the country. Two of the awardees were from Bundoran in Donegal.
The awardees were honoured for their significant contribution to the RNLI in Ireland and years of dedicated and committed service to the charity. Many awardees were fundraising volunteers, recognised for years of service to the charity, while others were lifeboat crew who collected their long-service badges after many years on the lifeboat.
Guest of honour at the ceremony was outgoing RNLI Chairman Charles Hunter-Pease who will step down later this year after a successful term as Chairman of the Institution.
Speaking to the awardees and their friends and family during the ceremony, Charles Hunter-Pease commented; ‘To everyone receiving an award, whether their service has been at sea or ashore, please wear it with pride. It is the mark of someone very special, selflessly dedicated to the lives of others.’
‘Every day, all around our coastline, people come together to do something incredible for someone they’ve probably never met. Lifeboat crews put to sea not knowing what situation they will face. It also takes determination to raise funds. It’s a determination that sees people raise astonishing sums to keep our service running, and that is no small feat, it requires endless talent, imagination and energy.’
Mr. David Delamer Chairperson of the RNLI Council in Ireland formally opened the proceeded and welcomed the volunteers and their families to the ceremony. The citations for each awardee were read by Emma Gibson RNLI Area Manager and Owen Medland RNLI Divisional Operations Manager for Ireland central.
The Donegal awardees’ citations were as follows:
Mr Frank Bourke from Bundoran RNLI Branch received a Gold Badge.
Frank has been the Bundoran Branch Chairman since 1989 and in 2009 he took on the role of Secretary. Frank leads by example, always present at events regardless of the weather and his wise council ensures the smooth running of the Branch.
Mr Patrick McMorrow also from Bundoran fundraising Branch received a Gold Badge. Patrick has been the Treasurer of Bundoran Fundraising Branch, which is a branch since 1989. During that time he has maintained the accounts meticulously in a diligent manner. He is never shy where hard work is required. His dedication to the RNLI is clear and his helpful manner ensures that tasks are completed without fuss.
Awardees were present from across Ireland representing lifeboat stations and branches in Dublin, Wicklow, Galway, Cork, Waterford, Mayo, Wexford, Kerry, Donegal, Clare, Limerick and Athlone.
One of the highest honours of the evening went to Ian Walsh who recently retired as Lifeboat Operations Manager with Helvick Head RNLI. During the evening, along with the Honorary Lifeboat Governorship award, there were 31 Gold Badges, 12 Bar to Gold Badges, one Certificate of Thanks and 12 Long Service Badges, presented by the RNLI Chairman.
Photos below courtesy Tara Murphy/RNLI
The 5th annual Bundoran Lifeboat Soapbox Race took place on Sunday afternoon at Astoria Road Bundoran amid perfect weather conditions. Thousands lined the street to watch the thrills and spills of the event organised and staged by the volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI to raise funds for the lifeboat. Competitors came from near and far to take part with some comical antics from the aptly named happy jivers from Roslea, Co. Fermanagh providing the crowd with much amusement.
Some longboard skating kept the assembled crowd entertained until it was time for the main event itself. 18 soapbox racers competed for the title of champions and it eventually came down to a local derby - OK Cabs (winners of the first soapbox race in 2012) and Ward Automation (title holders since the 2014 event). The battle was fierce but Ward Automation emerged victors in the end and held on to the perpetual trophy for yet another year.
The much anticipated €1000 ball race wrapped up the afternoon's activities with the cash being won by 6 year old Robbie Barron from Grange in County Sligo.
Speaking on Sunday evening, Event director Cormac McGurren said 'this has been another hugely successful fundraising event for Bundoran RNLI and we would like to thank all those who participated in the soapbox race and who came to watch for their continued support and generosity. A special word of thanks goes to our sponsors particularly Carty Contractors without whose help the event would not have been the success that it was. I would also like to recognise the assistance of Donegal County Council and the hard work of our volunteer crew and ball sellers on the day.'
All proceeds on the day go to the upkeep of the Bundoran lifeboat and the training of the volunteer crew.
Lifeboat Press Officer