Paddy the horse leads Kinsale RNLI volunteers in St. Patrick's Day Parade

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer members of Kinsale RNLI have a very special guest joining them in the town’s St. Patrick’s Day parade this Sunday 17 March. Paddy the horse, rescued by the RNLI crew in dramatic circumstances on Sunday 17 February, will lead the RNLI float in the parade.

Two RNLI volunteers who rescued Paddy the horse visit him in his stable

RNLI/Hetty Walsh

RNLI volunteers Michael P Sullivan and Jonathan Connor with Paddy the horse

Paddy’s hoof became wedged in the trestles of a submerged oyster bed when his owner, Paul Crowley, was washing him down in the Bandon river.

With the tide rising fast, the lifeboat crew was in a race against time. Not wishing to further spook the distressed animal, the lifeboat remained at a safe distance while RNLI volunteers Jonathan Connor and Michael P Sullivan entered the water and successfully set Paddy free.

When they called to check on Paddy a few days later, they received a generous donation from the Crowley family and took the opportunity to offer Paddy a starring role in Kinsale's St. Patrick's Day parade.

RNLI volunteer Jonathan Connor said: ‘We asked Paddy straight up did he want to do it - yay or nay? He didn’t neigh, so we took it as a yes!' Paul will ride Paddy in the parade alongside his daughter Lauren on her pony Bailey.

Paul believes Paddy would have been lost had the lifeboat not been launched, and says the entire family wants to help promote the lifesaving work of the RNLI.

Kevin Gould, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Kinsale RNLI, said: 'We are honoured to have Paddy lead us in the parade and we thank the Crowley family for supporting the RNLI. Paddy's rescue shows how quickly you can get into difficulty, even close to the shore. It reinforces the RNLI's message to always respect the water. We want people to enjoy the water, but we also want you to recognise its dangers and never underestimate its power.

If you do get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.


RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Tricia Tyson Kinsale RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer email: Tel: 083 1529282 or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Regional Media Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email or Nuala McAloon RNLI Regional Media Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email:

Paul Crowley hands over cheque

RNLI/Hetty Walsh

The Crowley family - Celia, Lauren, Paul and Michael - present a cheque to RNLI volunteers Jonathan Connor and Michael P Sullivan

RNLI/Hetty Walsh

All ready for the St. Patrick's Day Parade - RNLI volunteers Michael P Sullivan and Jonathan Connor with Paddy and his owner, Paul Crowley

RNLI/Hetty Walsh

RNLI volunteers Jonathan Connor and Michael P Sullivan check up on Paddy after his dramatic rescue on 17 February
Rescue scene on the Bandon river

RNLI/Hetty Walsh

RNLI crew race against the rising tide to rescue Paddy when he became trapped in a submerged mussel bed on 17 February

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard 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 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.