Having tragically lost three generations of her family at sea, few understand the great work that volunteers with the RNLI do as much as Rosaleen Coady.
In 1985, Rosaleen lost her father in law Paddy Coady when he perished off the coast of Kilmore Quay. His body was brought ashore by the crew of the Kilmore lifeboat having been missing for 29 days. Her husband Stephen's body was recovered by the Penlee Lifeboat after he was lost off the coast of Cornwall in 2006. Devastatingly, her son Patrick was one of the crew members lost off the Pere Charles off Hook Head almost exactly a year later. His body was never recovered.
Coming up to what would have been Patrick's 40th birthday, Rosaleen decided to host a special fundraiser at the Rathangan bar and it saw a great attendance in particular of family, Patrick's friends and colleagues that would've worked with him over the years.
'It was a brilliant night,' said a delighted Rosaleen. 'I couldn't believe the crowd we got. On the night we had the first couple of lads that Patrick would've gone fishing with, John and Bill Burrel, and the owner of the Pere Charles, Martin. It was great to see them and we were delighted they came.'
On the night there were head shaves and beard shaves and you could hear the laughter from outside the Rathangan pub. Music was provided by Stephen Murphy , DJ Mattie Maddock and Bad Influence and there was a whole host of wonderful prizes available on the night.
'We got great support from local businesses,' Rosaleen said. 'There were some great prizes up for grabs and we got an amazing response. On the night we managed to raise €1,735 and altogether we've raised €6,000. That will now go to the Kilmore Lifeboat, Dunmore East Lifeboat and Penlee Lifeboat in Cornwall.'
The day after the fundraiser, family and friends met at Hook Head and released biodegradable balloons in a poignant tribute to Patrick, Stephen and Paddy, while local Julian Halligan performed a special song penned around the time of Patrick's passing. Rosaleen thanked everyone who contributed to what was a successful fundraiser and everyone at the Rathangan Bar for hosting.