Fundraiser to remember family members lost at sea
It's a long established saying that 'the sea is a cruel mistress'. However, the icy blue waters cannot have been crueller to many than Rosaleen Coady from Carrig on Bannow. A family steeped in fishing, Rosaleen has seen three generations of her family go off to sea, never to return. Now she is hoping to raise funds for the RNLI in memory of her beloved family members.
The tragic lineage began in 1985 when Rosaleen's father-in-law, lobster fisherman Paddy Coady, perished off the coast of Kilmore Quay. His body was returned to shore by the Kilmore lifeboat having been missing for 29 days. He was later followed by her husband Stephen whose body was recovered by the Penlee Lifeboat after he was lost off the coast of Cornwall in 2006. Heartbreakingly, Rosaleen was to bear similar anguish almost exactly a year later when her son Patrick was one of the tragic crew members that was lost from the Pere Charles off Hook Head. None of their bodies were ever recovered.
Having had to bear more grief than most, Rosaleen now feels that the timing is right to do a bit of good, raise some funds for the lifeboat and hopefully help prevent other families from experiencing the horror that she and her daughters, Carmel and Kelly, have had to bear.
'It has taken a long time to get to this stage, but I think now is the right time to do it,' Rosaleen says of the fundraiser. 'Patrick would have turned 40 in July and I think the time is right to mark it and thank everyone who was involved. He was a fun loving kind of fella, so I think this is a great way of doing it. Also, his friends need some kind of closure too, so it will be good for them as well.'
The fundraiser is set for Rathangan Bar on Saturday, July 13 and will see plenty of activity including live music from Bad Influence and local fishermen and relatives of the Coady family putting themselves in the firing line with a headshave, beardshaves and waxing. The day after, white balloons will be released in Hook Head in memory of all those who lost their lives at sea. Rosaleen has already been busy gathering prizes for a huge raffle on the night and she says the response so far has been fantastic.
All money donated will go to the Kilmore Quay Lifeboat, the Penlee Lifeboat in Cornwall and the Dunmore East lifeboat, which was where Patrick fished from.
'The response so far has been fantastic,' said Rosaleen. 'Most people locally already know me and my story, but those who haven't have been very generous once I've explained. Businesses in the local area have been really good in terms of making donations of cash and prizes.'
A huge list of prizes have already been locked in, including passage for four adults over and back with Stena Line, a hotel break at The Granville in Waterford, vouchers for meals, shopping, beauty treatments and much, much more.
Having secured such fantastic prizes already, Rosaleen is now seeking donations and a Go Fund Me page has been set up with the title 'In Memory of the Coady Family'. People are asked to log onto the site and make whatever donations they can, big or small to a great cause that means an awful lot, not just to the Coady family, but to the entire fishing community in the area.