As President of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the Duke of Kent was in Ireland yesterday where he made his first visits to the stations in Clare and Tipperary and a return visit to the Kerry station.
The Duke followed in the footsteps of his parents when he became President of the RNLI in 1969, and he has since been to almost all of the RNLI lifeboat stations.
Welcomed by the Kilrush station in County Clare by Lifeboat Operations Manager Pauline Dunleavy, the Duke was surrounded by tight security with a garda boat patrolling off the shoreline. The event at the station, also attended by the Kilkee and Doolin units of the Irish Coast Guard, gave the Duke the opportunity to tour the station and be treated to music and dancing.
Kilrush RNLI also showcased the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group, pottery from local group the Brothers of Charity and the building of traditional Irish Currach. The Duke had an opportunity to speak with representatives from Kilrush GAA, and to hear more about the partnership between the GAA and RNLI, which focuses on drowning prevention.
Before boarding a helicopter to his next destination of Fenit in Kerry, the Duke of Kent helped to plant an Irish Yew Tree and witnessed the launch of Kilrush RNLI’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat.
Lifeboat Operations Manager Pauline Dunleavy said of the Duke’s visit: “It was an honour to welcome His Royal Highness to Kilrush lifeboat station. We are very proud of our station delighted to host the President of the RNLI. We showcased our great team, as well as great community spirit. In particular, I would like to thank Kilrush GAA for attending. Much like a lifeboat station, a GAA club is at the heart of community life, and through this partnership, we all can both play a major role in preventing deaths by drowning.”
The Duke continued his RNLI tour today with visits to stations in County Cork.