Lifeboat crews from Achill RNLI and Ballyglass RNLI took part in the Easter Sunday 1916 centenary commemoration which saw some 700 members of the Irish emergency services taking part in the State parade. Ballyglass RNLI coxswain John Walsh and Achill RNLI second coxswain Dave Curtis joined 50 of the charity’s volunteers and staff who came from lifeboat stations around the Irish coast and inland to parade through Dublin city centre to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising. Dave Curtis carried the RNLI’s flag for the charity in the parade.
The RNLI formed part of the emergency services section of the parade which recognised the ‘blue-light’ agencies serving the Irish State since its foundation. The RNLI contingent was accompanied by a new Atlantic 85 lifeboat, which following its debut in the parade, will be transported to Youghal in Cork to go on operational service, and two RNLI Landrovers used in the launching of inshore lifeboats.
Commenting on the commemoration RNLI divisional operations manager Owen Medland said: "It is a huge honour for the RNLI to take part in this historic event. It is an acknowledgement of the role our volunteers have played in saving lives at sea and on inland waters in Ireland since the RNLI was established in Ireland in 1826. The lifeboat service has been given without any interruption historically and has always put the needs of those in danger on the water above all."
The parade involved more than 3,000 participants, largely from the Irish Defence Forces with 793 people from the emergency services. Represented along with the RNLI were An Garda Siochána, Dublin Fire Brigade, the National Ambulance Service, St John Ambulance, Irish Coast Guard, and the Civil Defence.