WATCH: Wildlife boat named in honour of couple’s late granddaughter

April 4th, 2024 4:00 PM

By Martin Walsh

Trish Gannon of Atlantic Whale & Wildlife Tours pouring champagne over the Lady Catherine, watched by skipper Sean Maxwell. The boat was launched by Tánaiste Micheál Martin. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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A THRIVING maritime business in Courtmacsherry has increased its fleet with the launch of a new vessel, performed by the Tánaiste Micheál Martin.

The boat was launched by Tánaiste Micheál Martin, right, at the wheel with Mark Gannon. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

Atlantic Whale and Wildlife Tours revealed their vessel, the Lady Catherine, which was described as ‘a beacon of innovation and opportunity’ at the well-attended launch in the village on Saturday.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin, who has a home in Courtmacsherry, said it was another significant milestone for the area.

Flanked by the Lady Louise and Lady Patricia, the Lady Catherine was guided to the pontoon by business owner Mark Gannon, accompanied by his wife Trish, piper Michael Heaney and Sean Maxwell, the Atlantic Whale and Wildlife Tours skipper.

Mark explained that the boat was named after two ladies in the family – their baby granddaughter, Kate, who is watching them from Heaven and his 96-year-old mother who, with his father, brought the family to Courtmacsherry over 50 years ago from Mayo.

County mayor Cllr Frank O’Flynn spoke about the benefits of marine tourism and said the Lady Catherine will create opportunities for economic development and will ensure that future generations can continue to benefit from the beauty of the environment and the sustainability of marine biodiversity.

Deputy Martin recounted the spirit of entrepreneurship of Mark and Trish Gannon.

‘They started investing in marine tourism before the concept itself became known,’ he said.

The Tánaiste said that Courtmacsherry is a ‘very self-reliant community’ that he had experienced through the decades.

‘I genuinely want to salute Mark and Patricia and all of the Gannon family for this latest decision, which is a courageous and a very significant investment in marine tourism,’ he said.

Addressing the attendance, Mark Gannon said the unveiling of the Lady Catherine marked a significant milestone, not just for the family, but for the entire Courtmacsherry community.

‘This vessel represents a commitment to excellence and a dedication to providing unforgettable experiences for our clients. Our marine tourism venture promises to showcase the very best that Courtmacsherry and its marine environment has to offer,’ he added.

The Lady Catherine was blessed by family cousin Fr Joe Coughlan with Fr Dave O’Connell and Reverend Kingsley Sutton also taking part in the ceremony.

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