A brand new rescue vessel bearing the name, the ‘Aodhán,’ in honour of a talented young hurler who lost his life in tragic circumstances in the city last year, will be blessed in a special ceremony on Sunday.
The boat has been donated to Foyle Search & Rescue by the friends and family of the late Aodhán O’Donnell, who was aged just 19 when he drowned in the River Foyle last July.
In the wake of the young Foyle Springs man’s untimely death, a fundraising drive was launched to provide the local river rescue charity with extra capacity and to ensure that Aodhán’s name lived on.
It was met with an overwhelming outpouring of generosity that matched the grief that was felt in the city at the time.
Amazingly, approximately £30,000 was collected in the name of this worthy cause.
In a statement Na Magha, Cumann Lúthchleas Gael (CLG), the Ballyarnett hurling club, of which Aodhán was a core member, confirmed that the new boat will be launched in his honour at the Foyle Search & Rescue headquarters in Prehen this weekend.
“Following the tragic loss of Aodhán last year, the O’Donnell family are proud to say that £30,000 has been raised in aid of Foyle Search & Rescue in thanks of all they did for the family during a tough time,” the club said.
“The local charity have now got a boat that will have Aodhán’s name on it.
“This boat will be getting blessed this Sunday, February 17 at Foyle Search & Rescue at 11 a.m.,” added the Derry GAA club.
Na Magha encouraged anyone who can make it to the ceremony to come along.
“Everyone is welcome to attend the blessing but please be there before 11.00 a.m. as parking will be limited,” it said.
The club said the launch was “another well deserved milestone for Aodhán and his family”.
It said the O’Donnell family wished to thank everyone who contributed to their undraising drive and made the donation of the boat possible.