Special Knock service to celebrate life saving work at sea

A special ecumenical service will be held at Knock Shrine next weekend to celebrate the life saving work of RNLI volunteers over the last 190 years.

The service, which will take place in the Basilica at 12 noon on Saturday August 9, will celebrate the charity’s work in saving lives at sea and also commemorate those who gave their lives in the service of others.

The celebration will be led by Patrick Rooke, Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry. He will be assisted by Father Richard Gibbons, PP Rector Knock Shrine.

The RNLI was founded in 1824 by Sir William Hillary who after being involved in several rescue attempts and seeing dozens of ships get destroyed at sea from his home in the Isle of Man, came to recognise the need for a unified rescuing service.

He founded the then National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, which was later renamed the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in 1854.

Last year, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 1,087 times with its volunteer crews rescuing 1,278 people and saving 45 lives.

There are currently 44 lifeboat stations in Ireland and 57 operational lifeboats at Irish stations.

Speaking ahead of the ecumenical service at Knock, Anthony Hiney, RNLI community fundraising manager, said: “This is a special and fitting way to mark the 190th anniversary of the RNLI. The ecumenical service will celebrate the work of all our selfless, dependable and courageous volunteers who do so much to save lives at sea while also allowing us to remember and honour all those who have gave their lives in the service of others.”

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