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17 Aug 2022

Sligo Bay and Bundoran RNLI crew member takes to the pitch at Croke Park to promote water safety

Sligo Bay RNLI crew member takes to the pitch at Croke Park to promote water safety

Promoting water safety at Croke Park

Former Sligo GAA player Eoin McHugh, a crew member at Sligo Bay RNLI along with four volunteers from Bundoran RNLI took to the pitch during yesterday’s (Sunday 3 July) Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final at Croke Park, to promote the charity’s partnership with the GAA on water safety.

Before Limerick and Galway battled it out for a place in the final and in front of a packed stadium and TV audience, Eoin joined RNLI volunteers from across the Irish region dressed in full lifeboat kit to unfurl a giant flag showing an all-weather lifeboat in action.

The RNLI and GAA water safety partnership was established in 2017 to raise awareness of drowning prevention and to educate communities on how to stay safe in and around the water.

The partnership is part of the GAA Healthy Clubs’ programme and has seen RNLI lifeboat crew visiting GAA clubs around Ireland to deliver water safety talks to all age groups. Within a 10km radius of the 46 RNLI lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, there are 333 GAA clubs.

From the first year of the partnership, the GAA has invited the RNLI to Croke Park for an All-Ireland semi-final, where the charity has reached new audiences that may someday save a life with water safety advice.

 Speaking about the event, Gareth Morrison, RNLI Head of Water Safety said: ‘This was an amazing opportunity to be given by the GAA and it shows the importance of working in partnership with organisations who share our values. With so many people watching and listening, we are bringing important water safety messages to a huge audience that could one day save a life.’

Eoin McHugh, Sligo Bay RNLI crew member and former senior player with Sligo GAA said: ‘I was delighted to represent Sligo Bay RNLI and be part of yesterday’s activity to promote water safety and highlight the importance of this drowning prevention partnership with the GAA at Croke Park where there were over 52,000 people in attendance.

‘The sea is on our doorstep in Rosses Point and there are more people using it and enjoying it all year round.  In our community, the lifeboat station and the GAA club are near each other, and you see the shared values of volunteerism and pride in where you live. I know we can save lives in sharing this advice and I hope we can bring more people with us as we do it and make everyone a lifesaver.’

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