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Thursday 18 July 2019

Lifesaver: Generous donor helps land new €2.5m lifeboat

Wave of support: The lifeboat is welcomed into port. Photo: Patrick Browne
Wave of support: The lifeboat is welcomed into port. Photo: Patrick Browne
Rory Tevlin

Rory Tevlin

A large donation helped foot the bill for a new €2.5m lifeboat that has been delivered to Clogherhead.

Hundreds of people turned out on a sunny afternoon in Co Louth yesterday to welcome the latest in RNLI lifeboat technology after its delivery from Dorset in England.

The €2.5m lifeboat and its launching rig represents a major investment by the RNLI in the station and moves it from a 15-knot lifeboat to a 25-knot one, cutting vital minutes off the time it takes for the crew to reach an emergency.

A significant chunk of the funding for the vessel has been provided through a generous legacy by Wexford farmer Henry Tomkins, who was a lifelong supporter of the RNLI.

Mr Tomkins stipulated the lifeboat be named after his long-time friend, the former Arklow RNLI coxswain Michael O'Brien.

RNLI coxswain at Clogherhead Tomás Whelahan said: "We were thrilled with the welcome we received on our journey home in our new Shannon class lifeboat.

Lifeboat mechanic Padraig Rath with his grand- daughter Anna Browne. Photo: Patrick Browne
Lifeboat mechanic Padraig Rath with his grand- daughter Anna Browne. Photo: Patrick Browne

"I want to thank the many people who came down to Clogherhead to see our arrival, which made it an incredibly special homecoming.

"We have had a great week with the new lifeboat, getting to know it and seeing what it can do on the open sea."

Irish Independent

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