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Long service awards for Clifden RNLI volunteers marking 400 years of fundraising

Lifeboats News Release

At a recent awards ceremony some fourteen members of Clifden / Connemara RNLI’s fundraising branch received long service medals recognising their combined 400 years of fundraising

RNLI/Mella Walsh

As a fully independent charity organisation the RNLI relies on donations to fund its life saving work. Clifden lifeboat crew are on call 24/7 but they require ongoing training, well maintained equipment, lifeboats and shore equipment to carry out their mission of saving lives at sea. None of this would be possible without the dedication, commitment and drive of our local fundraisers who have each dedicated many years to supporting their local coastal community.

The commitment and selflessness of Clifden’s fundraising volunteers was acknowledged by Danny Curran, RNLI Regional Engagement Manager. Speaking at the ceremony Danny said, “I know how much thought and effort goes in raising every euro for our charity and I’m extremely grateful to the volunteers here today who have worked tirelessly on this goal for decades. In rain, hail and snow; every week, every month, every year, you have ensured we can keep our life saving services running.

“These awards are not just to celebrate the fundraising volunteers for their incredible achievements over many years but also their families and friends who play a key role in supporting our work.”

Long service award recipients include Padraig Mc Donagh from Kilkerrin who is the longest serving fundraiser in the branch having dedicated an incredible 55 years to Clifden RNLI, Eileen and Oliver Coyne from Cleggan who are responsible for the legendary RNLI Christmas hamper raffle and Anne Marie Bennett, out-going chair of the fundraising branch and highly valued RNLI volunteer.

A special moment was observed for Lavinia Joyce who sadly passed away in August this year. Lavinia was the first Chairperson of Clifden / Connemara fundraising branch, or the “Clifden Ladies Guild”, as it was known when she joined in 1992. Her enthusiasm, dedication and sense of purpose to be involved with the RNLI was infectious. She was an inspiration to all of us and an absolute lady, rest in peace Lavinia.

Clifden RNLI Long Service Awardees 2023

· Geraldine Heanue

· AnneMarie Bennett

· Padraic Griffin

· Stewart Freeman

· Collin Mullen

· Paraic Mc Donagh

· Percy Hyland

· Oliver and Eileen Coyne

· Jacqueline Hannon

· Nancy Duffy

· Lavinia Joyce

· Ann Day

· Thomas King

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

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.