A COURTMACSHERRY family with a long tradition of serving the RNLI has come on board to promote the charity’s Christmas fundraising appeal.
The RNLI in Courtmacsherry was founded in 1825, but it is the efforts of multiple generations that has ensured the continuation of the life-saving service.
The Gannons are an example of a family that willingly give time to help run their local station, and – like all RNLI volunteers – it’s free of charge.
Deputy coxswain, Mark Gannon, has been a volunteer lifeboat crew member since 1976. He was the first in his family to volunteer, but he was quickly followed by his two brothers, Adrian and Dara, and his wife, Trish. Mark – who says he has a few more years left in him until retirement – expressed the RNLI’s gratitude for the support communities provide the organisation saying, ‘We could not do what we do without them.’
Mark’s son, Mark John Jnr, also serves the RNLI in the role of emergency coxswain. Three of the Gannon family were part of the crew called to rescue the Astrid, which sank off Oysterhaven in 2013, and assisted in the safe return of the 30 people on board.
‘Since it was founded, the RNLI has saved almost 200,000 lives,’ Mark told The Southern Star. ‘Myself and my family would like to think we have played a small part in that life-saving service.’
‘Here in Courtmacsherry,’ Mark added, ‘there is a great tradition of volunteering. For a small village, we always have plenty of crew.’