Maritime memories and family connections for former President Mary McAleese in R
Describing herself as someone who was born in the maritime city of Belfast, grew up on the shores of Carlingford Lough and now lives by a lake in the west of Ireland, Mary McAleese speaks of her close affinity with the RNLI in this podcast which lands tomorrow (Wednesday 4 October).
In Storms and Teacups, the former President calls to mind family traditions in the charity including her own extended family. Jeremiah O’Connell, her son in law’s grandfather, was coxswain of the Valentia Island lifeboat nearly 150 years ago. Mary McAleese recalls the eerie atmosphere of a visit to the old boathouse on the island where the ancient, cobwebbed craft is still stored.
Admitting to ‘not being the strongest of swimmers’ she says volunteering would certainly be on her ‘retrospective bucket list.’ Recalling many of the charity’s events she attended as President of Ireland lauds the volunteering spirit of the RNLI.
The unique podcast series will hear from people connected to the RNLI in Ireland and those whose lives have been touched by the lifesaving charity. Hear from locals with a special kinship to their lifeboat station, a crew member who’s been on service for a generation, or the family of someone rescued by an RNLI frontline lifesaver – each episode is sure to take the listener on a journey through a touching story.
Launched in August the series already features several contributions of Irish interest including:
· Niamh Fitzpatrick Remembers One of Our Own, a personal reflection on how after losing her sister Dara at sea, Niamh talks about how much the RNLI means to her.
· Fr. Tom Dalton, a Courtown RNLI crew member where the Co. Wexford priest describes what is like when rescue turns into recovery in Pulling Together.
· In The Calm Before Force 10. Baltimore RNLI’s Kieran Cotter remembers an event that was to change yacht racing forever, the 1979 Fastnet tragedy, the fateful call out and the response to the disaster.
· The challenge of saving lives in a remote place is the theme of Outer Limits by Aran Islands doctor Marion Broderick.
Later in the autumn the series will also hear from celebrity ambassadors including musician Phil Coulter on his writing of the RNLI anthem ‘Home from the Sea’.
Available across all podcast platforms and the RNLI’s website, listeners can hear from survivors, supporters, volunteers, lifeguards, celebrity ambassadors, historians and many more from across Wales, England, Scotland Ireland and beyond.
RNLI Strategic Content Manager, Rory Stamp said: ‘We knew we had to do something really special to mark the RNLI’s 200th anniversary, which is such a monumental milestone.
‘200 Voices is an incredible collection of stories that are emotive, powerful, inspiring and heart-warming. The series gives us a chance to hear from a whole variety of amazing people who have played a part in or been touched by our lifesaving charity.
‘200 Voices is the first in a programme of activity planned to mark the RNLI’s bicentenary as we celebrate the world-class lifesaving service we provide today, remember our remarkable history and aim to inspire the future generations of lifesavers and supporters as we move through into the next 200 years.’
Launch into a podcast like no other: Listen to the RNLI’s 200 Voices daily, wherever you get your podcasts or at RNLI.org/200Voices.
To find out more about the RNLI’s bicentenary, visit www.RNLI.org/200.
Notes to Editor:
· Episode attached for preview
· An RNLI spokesperson is available for interviews.
· Find out more about the RNLI’s bicentenary at RNLI.org/200
RNLI media contacts
To arrange an interview or for more information about the 200 Voices podcast series, contact Tom McGuire, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on [email protected] or 00 353 82470245
Alternatively you can contact the RNLI Press Office on [email protected] or 00 441202 336789.
For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.
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 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 142,200 lives.
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
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries