Ivon and Jane’s generous gift of a boat to the RNLI

July 21st, 2020 8:00 PM

By Jackie Keogh

ane and Ivon Roberts, Harriet O’Regan, Jim Moloney, Mary Jacinta Casey, Carmel and Mick McKenna with the boat Decade, (inset) in Union Hall. (Photo: Andrew Harris)

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A SHIP’S captain’s labour of love during lockdown has been donated to the RNLI in Union Hall.

Ivon and Jane Roberts, who are originally from Monkstown in Cork, but relocated to Rosscarbery to raise their children more than 20 years ago, have given their boat, Decade, to boost Union Hall’s RNLI coffers.

Jane explained that Ivon initially spent many long hours getting it ready for sale but it was only when they saw the sail boat they had bought to mark their 10th wedding anniversary looking spick and span they decided to donate it.

And who better to give it to, said Jane, than the volunteers of Union Hall RNLI who are looking to establish a permanent live-saving station in the locality.

Jane said they, as a couple, along with their now grown-up children, Ivon and Jessica, have wonderful memories of trips on the boat and can only hope that the new owner gets as much enjoyment out of it.

Ivon comes from a family steeped in maritime heritage. His great grandfather, Richard Roberts, was Captain of Sirius – the first wooden-hulled side steam ship, built in 1837, to cross the Atlantic.

Deciding to donate Decade to the RNLI was an instinctive decision. The Union Hall volunteers had, after all, once saved the 21ft sail boat from breaking up on rocks after it broke its moorings.

Every part of the boat is in ship-shape and Bristol fashion – from the painted hull to the varnished woodwork and gleaming interior.

Anyone interested in making an offer for the boat, and its trailer, can contact Mick McKenna on 087 252 9038.

Pamela Deasy, a volunteer with Union Hall RNLI, thanked Ivon and Jane for their kind and considerate donation.

‘Due to the Covid-19 pandemic,’ she said, ‘all fundraising events have been cancelled except for those of a virtual nature, so this opens the door for a new owner, a new chapter for Decade, and funding for the RNLI.’

Pamela said the fundraising team also want to thank the harbour master Garrett O’Mahony, and Cork County Council for facilitating the boat on Union Hall pier.

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