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RNLI volunteers join royals for party at Buckingham Palace

June 9th, 2024 10:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

RNLI volunteers join royals for party at Buckingham Palace Image
Sean Thompson and Mary Jacinta Casey, Glandore with Mary Rose and Martin Deasy representing Union Hall at the RNLI 200 year anniversary garden party in Buckingham Palace last weekend. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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VOLUNTEERS from West Cork, including Union Hall and Baltimore, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace as part of the RNLI’s 200th anniversary celebration.

The garden party was held by Britain’s Princess Anne, accompanied by her husband Retired Vice Admiral Tim Laurence, and Edward, Duke of Kent, who has been president of the RNLI since 1969.

Baltimore RNLI was represented by Aidan Bushe, Kate Callanan, Brendan Cottrell, and Brian McSweeney.


The garden party brought together around 2,500 of the RNLI’s long-serving volunteers, staff, and their families and also featured an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat in the palace grounds.

Among those attending from across the charity were Mary Jacinta Casey and Mary Rose Deasy from Union Hall.

‘Volunteers are the lifeblood of the RNLI and I am looking forward to being able to thank them personally, along with their equally dedicated families and our long-serving staff members, for their courage and commitment to saving lives,’ RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie said, ahead of the ceremony.

Since the RNLI was founded on March 4th, 1824, the charity has saved more than 146,277 lives – an average of two lives every day for 200 years.

The RNLI operates 46 lifeboat stations in Ireland and is independent of Coast Guard and government, and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service.

‘We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers’ vital support and the time and effort they generously dedicate in a wide variety of roles, from lifesaving crew to fundraisers and those who volunteer in our shops, museums or by sharing our water safety messaging,’ said RNLI head of volunteering Donna McReath.

‘They are all lifesavers, and this special garden party is a wonderful opportunity to recognise and celebrate the joy and impact of volunteering for the RNLI. We are always looking for new volunteers to join our charity to help us continue saving lives at sea.’

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