Donegal RNLI volunteer lifeboat and shore crew were represented in the Easter Sunday 1916 centenary commemoration which saw over seven hundred members of the Irish emergency services taking part in the biggest parade in the history of the State.
In total, fifty RNLI volunteers came from lifeboat stations around the Irish coast and inland to parade through Dublin City Centre to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
I particularly want to acknowledge the volunteer lifeboat crew who came from Lough Swilly RNLI in the aftermath of the recent tragedy in Buncrana.RNLI Divisional Operations Manager Owen Medland
The RNLI formed part of the emergency services section of the parade which recognised the ‘blue-light’ agencies serving the Irish state since its foundation.
Four Donegal RNLI volunteers made the trip to Dublin for the parade to join with their colleagues from around the country. They were from Paddy Murphy, Seamus McDaid and Sean Quirke from Lough Swilly RNLI and Shane Smyth from Bundoran RNLI. The RNLI contingent was accompanied by a new Atlantic 85 lifeboat, which following its debut in the parade, will be transported to Cork to go on operational service, and two RNLI landrovers used in the launching of inshore lifeboats.
The parade was preceded by a short ceremony which included a reading of the 1916 Proclamation and the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins laying a wreath on behalf of the people of Ireland, followed by a minutes silence observed for all those who died during the Rising.
The event involved over 3,000 participants, largely from the Irish Defence Forces with 793 people from the emergency services. Represented along with the RNLI were An Garda Siochána, Dublin Fire Brigade, the National Ambulance Service, St John Ambulance, Irish Coast Guard and the Civil Defence.
Commenting on the commemoration, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager Owen Medland said: “I wish to thank all the RNLI volunteers from Donegal who made the journey to Dublin to represent the charity for this historic occasion and I particularly want to acknowledge the volunteer lifeboat crew who came from Lough Swilly RNLI in the aftermath of the recent tragedy in Buncrana. The thoughts of all RNLI volunteers are with them and the families of those who were lost in the recent tragedy.”
“Irish volunteers have played an important role in search and rescue on these shores since the RNLI was established here in 1826. Our three stations in Lough Swilly, Arranmore Island and Bundoran are part of a larger group which has the community at its heart.”