Aran Islands RNLI to officially open new Visitor Experience and shop on Inis Mór
The RNLI’s most westerly shop in Ireland will officially open its doors next Saturday, 1 October from 1-4pm on Inis Mór, raising vital lifesaving funds for the charity that saves lives at sea. Saturday will also see the opening of the new Aran Islands RNLI Visitor Experience.
The new shop which is located inside Aran Islands lifeboat station at Kilronan Pier, quickly became a key attraction when it opened its doors back in June to 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.
Located in the boathall of the station, the Visitor Experience will bring people through 175 years of captivating history featuring imagery and facts about the station’s lifeboats, memorable milestones, awards, rescue stories and the many volunteers from the island who have made up the lifesaving crew over the years.
The shop which offers a wide range of unique RNLI goods, including clothing and accessories, home and kitchen gadgets, toys and games, books and stationery, and gifts, is expected to open seven days a week during the tourist season from Easter through to Autumn at times to coincide with the arrival and departure of the ferry.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s official opening and following the first season of trading, Brian Wilson, RNLI Community Manager, said: ‘We are delighted that Inis Mór is joining the 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 back in June more than exceeded our expectations and that momentum key up throughout the summer season. We have had a wonderful response from locals and tourists alike and we 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.
‘To now also have the Visitor Experience open is wonderful as it will give the many tourists who come to the Aran Islands each year another attraction to enjoy while giving them a terrific insight to the station’s rich history and the work of the volunteer team who have made such an impact over so many years. This meandering visitor experience is a special mark of respect to all the people, call outs and stories this lifeboat station has to tell.’
Everyone is welcome to attend the official opening of the Visitor Experience and shop from 1-4pm next Saturday during which visitors can view the new facilities, speak to the crew and purchase a token from the shop as a memento of their day.
Meanwhile, the shop team at Aran Islands RNLI is 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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