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Lough Ree RNLI presents Athlone River Festival 2017.

Lifeboats News Release

This July the River Shannon in the heart of Athlone will come alive with the 2017 Athlone River Festival.

RNLI/Sarah Groarke

RNLI Raft Race 2016

The River Shannon has been the base for festivals in Athlone throughout Athlone’s history, from the original Athlone People’s Regatta in the 1920s to the more recent Athlone River Festival in the 1990s, and started up again in recent years.

This year, by kind permission of Waterways Ireland, and supported by Westmeath County Council, Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat will be organising the River Festival. Speaking recently, Damien Delaney, volunteer member of Lough Ree RNLI said ‘Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat has received huge support from the communities around Lough Ree and we would like to give back to the community with a fun-filled water-based weekend for all to enjoy’.

The event begins on the evening of Saturday 1 July with the IWAI Motor Cruiser flotilla sail-past and arrival into the town, followed by Guinness, Oysters and Jazz reception on the quay at Sean’s Bar.

On Sunday 2 July the action kicks off at 10am with the Junior Fishing Competition organised by Athlone Anglers, followed by a variety of activities over the course of the day.

Other key events include the Vintners Barrel Race and RNLI Soap Box Derby and the highlight of the weekend, the RNLI Raft Races, featuring both a general race and a fancy-dress race.

There will also be demonstrations from Lough Ree Yacht Club and Athlone Sub Aqua Club, and rowing races organised by Athlone Boat Club, as well as a fly-boarding performance. A full programme of events can be found on the Athlone RNLI River Festival Facebook page.

Entry forms for the Raft Races are available from Kieran Sloyan, c/o Sean’s Bar Tel 087 629 8133. All entries must be submitted no later than 5pm on Thursday 22 June 2017 and all participants must be 18 or older on the day of the race.

Lough Ree RNLI are also seeking sponsorship for some of the events on the day. If you or your business would like to sponsor an event, please contact Damien Delaney on 087 243 7092 or email


RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Sarah Groarke Lough Ree RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 086 8075253 email: or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email:

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For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea and on selected inland waters. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the Ireland and the UK. The RNLI operates 235 lifeboat stations around Ireland and the UK with 45 operational lifeboat stations in Ireland. The RNLI is independent of the Coast Guard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 140,000 lives.

Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland and registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SCO37736)

RNLI/Sarah Groarke

RNLI Raft Race 2016

RNLI/Sarah Groarke

RNLI Raft Race 2016

RNLI/Sarah Groarke

RNLI Raft Race 2016

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland