BY MARTIN WALSH
A CASUAL conversation in Malin Head, Co Donegal culminated, in the organising of a tractor run that has benefitted the lifeboat stations of Courtmacsherry and Kinsale.
Last week at the Kinsale RNLI station, the proceeds of the venture (€7,005) were presented to the chairpersons of the respective fundraising groups.
On arrival in Malin Head last year following their 600km-plus tractor run from Mizen Head, two of the participants, Innishannon’s Denis Ryan and Barryroe’s John Fleming discussed their desire to do something for their respective lifeboat stations.
Both have a shared interest, Denis is a shore crew member in Kinsale while John is a former president of the Courtmacsherry RNLI.
Denis recalled their discussion. ‘John and myself were just chatting and I said that I wouldn’t mind doing something for the Kinsale lifeboat. He was interested for sure, but obviously, he wanted to involve Courtmacsherry. So we agreed to a joint effort. On our return we met with Vincent O’Donovan, the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat PRO, and it went from there. We never expected the venture would raise as much, but it shows how generous people are and how they appreciate the work that both stations do in terms of saving lives at sea.’
From a local aspect, most tractor runs start and finish at the same location, but this was different as it began in Páirc Uí Mhurchú in Barryroe, and finished in Kinsale. It copper-fastened relationships between the two organisations. Indeed, both groups expressed their delight with the event as it brought personnel together for the first time and the shared experience has brought great positivity.
The Kinsale members are looking forward to attending the naming ceremony for the new Shannon-class RNLB Val Adnams in Courtmacsherry on September 9th.
‘The whole event showed the spirit of community at its best, it was great to meet our colleagues in Kinsale. We are all very proud of our voluntary crews, they do such great work,’ said Paul Finn, chairperson, Courtmacsherry fundraising committee.
Tributes were paid to Michael Ryan, who organised the tractors and trucks, cars and motorcycles, the gardaí, Ger Quinn, John O’Mahony and Micheál Hurley. Both groups later enjoyed hospitality with the compliments of the Trident Hotel in Kinsale.