The RNLI held its annual presentation of awards at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin last Saturday where the charity presented 55 awards to volunteers, groups, and businesses from across the country that have made a significant contribution to the RNLI in Ireland.
Three of those awards were made to Mayo volunteers and groups.
Guest of honour at the ceremony was Leesa Harwood, RNLI director of community lifesaving and fundraising. Also present was David Delamere, chairperson of the RNLI Council in Ireland, who welcomed the volunteers and their supporters to the ceremony.
RNLI Irish Council members Terence Johnson and Peter Killen were also in attendance and the citations for each awardee were read by Emma Gibson, RNLI area manager, and Owen Medland, RNLI divisional operations manager for Ireland central.
Dr Noreen Lineen-Curtis from Achill Island Station Branch received an inscribed statuette. She is a busy and active GP on the island but she also finds time to support the Achill Island Lifeboat Station in all areas.
Having fulfilled the role of deputy medical advisor since 2004, she undertakes the crew’s medical requirements. Her husband Dave is also one of the station’s coxswains. She is hugely respected by all at the lifeboat station.
Mary Houghton from Achill Branch received a bronze badge. She joined the branch in 2008 and was treasurer from 2011 to 2014. She assisted greatly with the introduction of the online accounts pilot scheme and is also a great support with Castlebar and Westport flag days.
Michael Edward Lavelle from Achill Branch received a bronze badge. He joined the branch in 2006 and was chairman from 2007 until 2011. Under his stewardship Achill fundraising went from strength to strength, and he instils a sense of pride in the branch. He continues to support the branch at events with flag days and church gate collections.
In her address to the guests, Ms Harwood said that the awards were a "celebration of the difference that the volunteers and supporters had all made to the lives of others".
"Our charity made an extraordinary difference in 2014. I am very proud to tell you that last year, together, we saved 460 lives," she continued.
"Today we celebrate not just those whose lives we saved, but the people who made this incredible number possible. We celebrate remarkable fundraising feats and decades of lifesaving service given by volunteers. And we say thank you."