Dun Laoghaire's station history


Two Gold, 10 Silver and one Bronze Medals have been awarded, the last being voted in 1969.


In 1878 the Crown Prince of Austria, who was in Dublin, gave £30 to the crew of the rescue of 12 people from the Austrian brig Olinka.

In 1896 the Russian Government awarded the sum of £300 to the families of the men who lost their lives on the occasion of the attempted rescue of the barque Palme.  The number two lifeboat was capsized and her crew of 15 were drowned.  The Institution voted £2,000 to a fund which was raised locally.

Station established prior to 1825 and taken over by the Institution in 1862 from the Dublin Ballast Board, together with Poolbeg and Howth.


During a service to the brig Ellen on 28 December the lifeboat capsized and four crew lost their lives; Hugh Byrne, Thomas Fitzsimons, John Archbold, and Thomas Grimes.


Gold Medal awarded to Lieut Hutchinson RN when he rescued the crew and passengers; five men, three women and three children from the brig Duke that went aground in an easterly gale at Dalkey on 14 August 1929.  In spite of the danger of being dashed to pieced against rocks Lieutenant Hutchison with a crew of three coastguards and nine other men put out through tremendous surf and saved all eleven from the wreck which immediately afterwards lost the masthead and broke up completely.


Silver Medal awarded to J Ridge, Mate of the Kite, for saving two men from drowning on 20 November 1844.  A brig ran foul of a barque in Kingstown Harbour and both were driven ashore.  A man fell overboard from the brig and another from the Kite jumped in after him.  A heavy sea was running and both men were in peril so Mr Ridge leaped overboard with a line attached and rescued them.


Silver Medal, accompanied by a letter of condolence presented to Mrs Boyd, widow of the late Captain J McNeill Boyd RN of HMS Ajax in testimony of the Management Committee’s admiration of his devoted and intrepid exertions to save the lives of the shipwrecked crew of the brig Neptune in Kingstown Harbour on 9 February 1861, on which occasion he and five of his gallant crew unhappily, but nobly, perished; being swept from the pier by a heavy sea.  The crew were J Curry, A Forsyth, J Johnson, T Murphy and J Russell.

Silver Medal awarded to Lieut Hugh McNeill Dyer RN and to Mr George Farrin, master gunner of HMS Ajax in testimony of their gallant exertions in rushing into the surf and attempting to save, at the peril of their lives, the crew of the brig Neptune that was wrecked off Kingstown, in a heavy gale, on 9 February1861.

Silver Medals awarded to Mr James Toomey, Lieut Richard Parsons of HM 35th Regiment, and to Lieut William Hutchinson of the Royal Dublin City Militia.  At great risk to himself Mr Toomey waded into the surf and helped to save the Mater of the Whitehaven schooner Industry that was wrecked off Kingstown in a heavy gale on 9 February 1861.  Lieutenants Hutchinson and Parsons also rushed into the surf in an attempt to save the Master.


Silver Medals awarded to Mr Edmund Gray and to Mr John Freeney, coachman, for swimming out in a heavy sea, on 25 September 1868 and bringing a line on shore and by other means of assisting to save five men from the schooner Blue Vein of Portmadoc, which had stranded opposite Ballybrack railway station in a strong east-south-easterly gale.


Whilst returning from the wreck of the brig Leonie on 30 September, after having rescued the crew of six, the lifeboat was struck by three heavy broken seas, the last of which fell on her broadside and upset her.  The 19 occupants were thrown into the sea.  Three of the crew of the brig were drowned and the second coxswain of the lifeboat, Thomas White died shortly afterwards from injuries he sustained.  Committee of Management voted £150 to the local fund, and the death of Bernard Mundone in 1877 was also attributed to his taking part in this service.


Gas service provided to lifeboat house.


Silver Medal awarded to the coxswain, H Williams, in recognition of his long and gallant services and to the wreck of the ship George H Oulton during a heavy gale on 1 November 1881.


A second lifeboat was considered necessary to be station here.


Number two lifeboat was wrecked on the rocks on 23 December, whilst on night exercise and one man, Patrick Hammond, lost his life.  Committee of Management made a grant of £125 to widow.

Sound signals for summoning the crew discontinued and a messenger appointed 0instead.


On 24 December the number two lifeboat was wrecked while proceeding to the assistance of the ss Palme of Finland, the whole of her crew, 15 in number, drowned.  Their names were John Baker, John Bartley, Edward Crowe, Thomas Dunphy, William Dunphy, Francis McDonald, Edward Murphy, Patrick Power, James Ryan, Francis Saunders, George Saunders, Edward Shannon, Henry Underhill, Alexander Williams and Henry Williams.  The accident was due to the lifeboat capsizing when about 600 yards from the distressed vessel and, although every effort was made to render help to the lifeboat and to the Palme, nothing could be done.  The number one lifeboat also put out with only a crew of nine and obtained six further volunteers from HMS Melampus.  She also capsized under sail but fortunately all regained the lifeboat.

Gold Medal awarded to Thomas McCombie, Captain of the ss Tearaght, for rescuing on 26 December the crew of the Palme, 20 people in all.  The Tearaght anchored ahead of the wreck and lowered her port lifeboat with the Captain, his 15 year old son, and eight crewmember on board, in two trips they saved the Master, his wife and child and 17 crew.


Lifeboat house for number two lifeboat constructed at a cost of £2,350.


Committee of Management voted £25 to widow of Second Coxswain Patrick Crowe, alleged to have died of consumption contracted through exposure on service.


Water laid on to No 1 lifeboat house.


Number one station closed.


Alterations to lifeboat house and slipway for proposed motor lifeboat carried out at a cost of £1,550.


Motor lifeboat first provided for station.


A Centenary Vellum awarded to station.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Acting Second Coxswain W Kelly, who was in temporary command, when the Kingstown lifeboat saved forty-five lives when the mv Bolivar, a Norwegian vessel, was wrecked on the Kish Bank seven and a half miles from Kingstown and broke in two in an east-north-easterly gale with a very rough sea on 4 March.  The Howth lifeboat was also on scene and standing by.  The owners gave one hundred guineas each to the crews of the Kingstown and Howth lifeboats, and fifty guineas to the funds of the Institution.  The gifts and Vellum were presented by Lord Mountevans (Evans of the Broke) who was himself rescued from the Bolivar by Kingstown lifeboat.


The lifeboat launched to the harbour launch that had capsized; the lifeboat was unable to render any assistance.  The three occupants were drowned, one was the Harbour Master and Institution’s honorary secretary, Captain R S Kearon.


Bronze Medal awarded to Coxswain/Mechanic Eric Offer for rescuing two men whose dinghies had capsized at the coal harbour, Dun Laoghaire, in a heavy rain squall and intense darkness on the night of 15 June 1969.  For this service he was also presented with the Maud Smith Award for the bravest act of life-saving in 1969 (jointly with Coxswain Sheader of Scarborough).


A 150th Anniversary Vellum presented.


 A special certificate on Vellum was awarded to Dr Niall L Webb, honorary medical adviser, recording the Committee of Management’s gratitude when he proceeded in the lifeboat John F Kennedy in a strong wind and a rough sea on 14 October and, in spite of a recent serious leg injury, effected a difficult and arduous transfer between lifeboat and the Norwegian motor vessel Blix where he attended an injured man who was subsequently landed by the lifeboat.


D class inflatable lifeboat placed on station on 22 March.


The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Mr Eamon O’Leary in recognition of his seamanship, determination and first aid rendered when on 7 August he rescued single-handedly five men, one who had suffered a heart attack, and a young boy from a capsized dinghy two miles south-south-east of Dalkey Island.  In a south-westerly gentle breeze but with a wind over tide situation which created confused seas, Mr O’Leary in his 18ft fishing boat, hauled the exhausted survivors on board, administered first aid and in his over-loaded boat, which was at times shipping water, made best possible speed in the direction of the nearest point where he safely landed the survivors, and sent the fittest casualty for an ambulance, whilst he continued to tend the unconscious man who had suffered a heart attack.


A new Trent class lifeboat ON1200 Anna Livia was placed on service 29 June 1995.  The lifeboat was funded by the proceeds of the Dublin Bay Lifeboat Fund together with other gifts and legacies. The Waveney class lifeboat has been withdrawn.


The new D class lifeboat D731 Realt Na Mara was placed on service on 10 June. D532 has been withdrawn.