The RNLI Annual Presentation of Awards took place last weekend in the Ballroom of Farmleigh House in Phoenix Park. It was a special occasion as it also marked the 190th anniversary of the charity that saves lives at sea and on inland waters. The awards recognise fundraising and operational volunteers from across Ireland for their role in raising funds and awareness for the RNLI and in doing so supporting the volunteer lifeboat crews in their work.
Guest of honour for the occasion was RNLI Chairman Charles Hunter-Pease, who handed out awards to sixty-one volunteers. Other attendees included the British Ambassador to Ireland Dominick Chilcott CMG, Commodore Hugh Tully, Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service, Breda Collins, Chairperson of Irish Water Safety and Yvonne Shields, Chief Executive of the Commissioners of Irish Lights.
This year the highest award the charity can bestow on a volunteer, an Honorary Lifeboat Governorship, was given to Buddy Valkenburg who was instrumental in the establishment of the Ballyglass lifeboat station in Mayo.
Awardees were present from all over Ireland representing lifeboat stations and branches in Dublin, Donegal, Sligo, Wicklow, Cork, Louth, Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary, Kerry, Galway, Clare, Mayo and Kildare. The awards presented included the Honorary Lifeboat Governorship, 5 Gold Badges, 8 Silver Badges, 9 Inscribed Statuettes, 2 Inscribed Binoculars, 20 Bronze Badges, 7 Supporter Awards and 9 Certificates of Thanks.
Mrs Valerie Good from the Kinsale RNLI branch received a Gold Badge. Valerie has been a committed lifeboat supporter for nearly 35 years and has held positions including Secretary, Box Secretary and Chairperson for the Kinsale branch. Valerieâ€™s approachable manner, wealth of knowledge and passion for the RNLI make her a valuable branch member inspiring everyone with whom she comes into contact.
Photo: Mrs Valerie Good from Kinsale RNLI receives a Gold Badge from RNLI Chairman Charles Hunter-Pease
Photo credit: RNLI/Margaret Brown