Aran Islands RNLI say a Céad míle fáilte as shop opens to visitors on Inis Mor
The RNLI’s most westerly shop in Ireland has opened its doors on Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands, to raise vital lifesaving funds for the charity that saves lives at sea.
The new shop which is located inside Aran Islands RNLI’s lifeboat station at Kilronan Pier, is quickly becoming a key attraction for both the islanders and the many visitors who come each year. The shop means visitors can leave Inis Mór with a memory of their time on the island while supporting the charity.
The shop launched last Tuesday, and volunteers plan to have it open seven days a week during the tourist season (Easter through to Autumn) with opening times coinciding with the ferry arrival and departure times.
The shop offers a wide range of unique RNLI goods, including clothing and accessories, home and kitchen gadgets, toys and games, books and stationery, and gifts.
The shop crew include volunteers Amy Williamson, Breda O’Donnell, Daniel and Lena O’Connell, David Terry, Margaret Jackie Gill, Shane Dirrane, Siobhán McGuinness and Treasa Ni Bhraonain, all of whom are looking forward to a busy summer after an exceptional first week serving local islanders and visiting tourists.
Speaking following the first week of trading, Brian Wilson, RNLI Community Manager, shares the shop team’s excitement: ‘We are delighted that Inis Mór is joining the rich heritage of lifeboat station shops in the RNLI. This is the second RNLI shop on the west coast of Ireland, along with Sligo Bay which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The response in the first week has more than exceeded our expectations. We have had a wonderful response from locals and tourists alike and I want to thank the team here for their efforts in getting us to this point as well as thanking everyone who has visited and shown their support since the opening last week.
‘RNLI shops started 100 years ago as cake stands before they expanded into selling commemorative souvenirs and cards, and now we offer an excellent range of RNLI products with all profits helping to save lives at sea. So, we are all thrilled that this piece of RNLI heritage has reached Inis Mór and that the proceeds raised can now help to power the lifesaving work of the volunteer crew on the Aran Islands.’
The shop team at Aran Islands RNLI are looking for more volunteers. If you think you can give some time to help out, please call into the shop for more information.
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.
Learn more about the RNLI
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