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Athlone man running around the lake for Lough Ree RNLI boathouse fund

Lifeboats News Release

Athlone resident Denis Bergin embarks on what is more than two marathons this weekend with a 90km run around Lough Ree to raise funds for the RNLI boathouse which is nearing completion at Coosan Point, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

Marathon runner Denis Bergin on the shore of Lough Ree

RNLI/Tom McGuire

Denis Bergin - Running for the boat!

The Tullamore native, an avid water enthusiast and long time supporter of the charity said: 'I was hoping to run in the Dublin City Marathon to support the new lifeboat station but when that got cancelled I had to think of a different challenge for the same weekend. As the lifeboat covers every corner of the lake, running around it seemed a good alternative.'

Denis intends to complete the two marathon distances this Bank holiday weekend. He starts from the Lough Ree RNLI boathouse at Coosan Point on Saturday morning (24 October) at 9am. His route will take him through Ballykeeran, Glasson and onwards through the parishes of Tang, Ballymahon, Kenagh and Newtowncashel as he hugs the lake shore on his way to the bridge at Lanesboro, Co. Longford. On the return marathon he will run down the west side of Lough Ree from Ballyleague towards Roscommon town and then swings south through Kilteevan, Knockcroghery, Lecarrow, Ballybay and Hodson Bay back to finish in Coosan on Sunday afternoon.

With three marathons under his belt, the Ericsson employee has been a familiar figure on his various training routes which have centred on the Old Rail Trail greenway.

Lough Ree RNLI Treasurer Vincent Rafter welcomed the initiative and said: 'Great progress has been made on raising the €100,000 community contribution for the €1.2m boathouse and the generosity and endurance of people like Denis are an inspiration to all those who support and rely on the charity.'

This year Lough Ree RNLI's volunteer crew has assisted more than 150 people in 42 call outs on the lake.

The new boathouse will provide an important and necessary base for the charity. Donations to Denis Bergin’s double marathon run for the boathouse can be made at the following GoFundMe page: https://gofund.me/aa9421bf.

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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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.