Award recognition for Lifeboat supporters
WEXFORD heroes who help to save lives by supporting their local lifeboat stations were honoured at a ceremony in Trinity College, Dublin.
Eight volunteers from the county were recognised at the RNLI annual presentation of awards.
Hugh Stafford from the Hook branch of RNLI received a gold badge for his role in setting up a station in Fethard in the early 1990's. Hugh who organises Soup Sunday every year, was heavily involved in fundraising activities.
Bronagh Stafford from Courtown RNLI was presented with a bronze badge for fundraising efforts in her role as chairperson of the branch.
June Ellart received an RNLI Supporter Award to mark her 50 years of dedicated fundraising for Rosslare RNLI. It is estimated that June has raised approximately €200,000 for the charity. She began fundraising at a young age and is a committed organiser of bric a brac sales, raffles and sponsored walks around the coastline.
Joe Byrne and Eileen Redmond of Courtown Harbour and Sea Angling Centre received a Corporate Supporter Award. The centre which is near the lifeboat station has organised an annual fundraising fishing competition for the past decade, collecting approximately €20,000.
Courtown lifeboat supporter Bernard Kelly was presented with the charity's Scroll of Thanks. Bernard has fundraised for the past 11 years, donating a total of €25,000 to the local station.
David Maloney from Rosslare RNLI lifeboat station received a Statuette in recognition of his passionate contribution.. David joined the crew in 1989 and finally hung up his boots in 2002 and became a launching authority. Recently, he has added chairman and volunteer press officer to his portfolio.
A Statuette was also presented to Philip Walsh from Kilmore Quay lifeboat station where he has held the post of Lifeboat Training Co-ordinator since 2001 while continuing to serve on the lifeboat crew.
Fergus Wickham who is due to retire soon from Rosslare lifeboat station, also received a Statuette. Fergus has served the RNLI for nearly five decades. He began as a crew member in 1965 and became Coxswain in 1994, a position he held for four years. In 2002, he became deputy launching authority and has been active in that role ever since.
His knowledge of local waters and his vast experience at sea as an RNLI volunteer and a fisherman, has earned him widespread respect.