'Caitriona always put others first,' say her friends and colleagues
Heroic mother-of-two Caitriona Lucas, who tragically died during a search and recovery mission, was remembered for her devotion and selfless dedication to others.
The librarian, who had worked as a volunteer with the Doolin coast guard for over 10 years, died after she was thrown into the rough water alongside two of her Kilkee colleagues when their boat capsized.
Originally from Ballyvaughan in north Clare, Caitriona joined the Doolin coast guard in January 2006 and took part in countless rescue missions alongside her husband Bernard Lucas over the past decade and filmed many others. The couple, who lived in nearby Liscannor, had also been involved in the Search and Rescue Dogs Association (SARDA), helping to train dogs to assist in search and rescue operations.
Ms Lucas served as the organisation's national secretary from 2011 to 2014.
Friends of the couple told of their shock at the tragedy, with one local in Liscannor saying: "They did so much for others. Caitriona was always putting other first, through her work with the coast guard and with the dogs. It's just such a loss."
Caitriona had worked as a librarian for Clare County Council for 16 years in Lisdoonvarna.
Work colleagues in the council were said to be grief-stricken at her loss yesterday. She was remembered by friends for her good humour and as a woman who was always available to help others.
"She was such a dedicated member of the Doolin coast guard team, she was at the heart of it all.
"It's hard to believe this is happening," said one friend.
Another remembered her for her for her love of keeping fit, trekking, the outdoors and travelling.
"Everyone is just in absolute shock. I can't believe she's gone like this," added another.