COUNCILLORS have warmly praised the voluntary work of Baltimore native Kieran Cotter, who has retired from Baltimore Lifeboat after an impressive 45 years of voluntary service.
At an online meeting of the Municipal District of West Cork earlier this week, Cllr Karen Coakley (FG) led the tributes for Kieran, who she said served as coxswain of Baltimore Lifeboat for 31 years, one of the longest serving in the history of the lifeboats.
Cllr Coakley also congratulated Aidan Bushe, who is taking over as coxswain, and she also congratulated crewmember Ronnie Carthy on his retirement after almost 30 years.
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) echoed her sentiments and congratulated Kieran on his longstanding service to Baltimore Lifeboat and said he was one of the best coxswain in Baltimore.
‘Kieran is a great community man for Baltimore and the islands and his great service to the Lifeboat and the community in Baltimore should not go unnoticed. He should be brought in at some point in time for a civic reception of some sort, as it’s not something to be sneezed at,’ said Cllr Carroll.
‘Kieran was part of some of most famous rescues in Ireland and it’s something that can’t go unnoticed.’
Having joined Baltimore Lifeboat in 1975 at the very young age of 17, Kieran was involved in the dramatic rescue mission during the Fastnet Race tragedy of 1979, and he and his brother Liam were also involved in the rescue of the late Taoiseach Charlie Haughey in 1985.
Kieran held the position of second coxswain for a number of years before becoming coxswain following the retirement of Christy Collins in 1989.
Chairperson of Baltimore Lifeboat, Declan Tiernan, paid tribute to Kieran also, saying ‘natural leadership is rare gift which Kieran Cotter has in abundance.’
‘Kieran gave 45 years of service to the Baltimore Lifeboat and when you think that in 2019 we celebrated the centenary of the first lifeboat arriving in Baltimore, it really puts Kieran’s service into perspective,’ said Declan.
During his 45 years at the station, Kieran received multiple awards for his role in many rescues and he served his last day on Wednesday December 30th last.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Baltimore Lifeboat Station are sadly unable to give Kieran the send-off he deserves but they are looking forward to celebrating with him sometime in the future.
See also, next week’s Southern Star.