The ‘signs’ of the times: RNLI videos go viral

May 19th, 2020 11:45 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Four-year old Bea and her dad, Richie O’Mahony, signing for safety on behalf of Union Hall RNLI. Bea signed ‘I love you’ for her grandparents, who are deaf.

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UNION Hall RNLI has posted 18 videos – including one of four-year-old Bea O’Mahony signing ‘I love you’ to her grandparents in Dublin – in a bid to match their 2019 May Day funds appeal of €5,000.

The video of Bea has captured the hearts of Union Hall RNLI’s Facebook followers after Richie O’Mahony’s daughter, Bea, stole the show when she signed the special message to her grandparents who are deaf.

It was Richie who signed the safety message on behalf of the RNLI, but Bea makes an appearance at the end, signing ‘I love you’ to the grandparents she hasn’t seen since lockdown began.

Pamela Deasy, local lifeboat press officer, told The Southern Star: ‘It’s a beautiful video, but so too are the other 17 videos, all of which have been viewed about 20,000 times.’

Their popularity has resulted in lots of viewers making a direct donation via the Facebook link to the RNLI.

‘So far, we have raised €2,300, considerably less than last year, but the RNLI has cancelled all fundraisers due to Covid-19, except for virtual fundraisers like ours,’ said Pamela. ‘Our volunteers – including Kara, the daughter of John Kelleher, our lifeboat operations manager, and Muireann and Aoife, the daughters of Aodh O’Donnell, our volunteer helm – filmed themselves delivering the water safety messages. Lots of people have been making generous donations in other ways too, such as Garry Minihane, a frontline paramedic. He donated a beautifully framed photograph of sunrise at the Beacon in Baltimore, which is up for auction online.’

Union Hall RNLI are also running a kids’ colouring competition with #RespecttheWater as the theme on its Facebook page.

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