ENNISKILLEN RNLI’s Paul Keown has spoken of the “share values” between the life saving charity and the GAA, after taking to the pitch at Croke Park at the weekend to promote water safety.
As part of a partnership that has been growing between the RNLI and the GAA since 2017, Paul joined fellow volunteers from around the country who unfurled a giant flag during last in front of a pack stadium at last Sunday’s hurling semi-final between Limerick and Galway.
Dressed in full lifeboat kit, Paul and the other volunteers’ flag featured an all-weather lifeboat in action, and was part of the ongoing joint efforts by the RNLI and GAA to raise awareness on drowning prevention and at educating the public on how to stay safe on or near the water.
Speaking afterwards, Paul said he was delighted to represent Enniskillen RNLI and to promote the message in front of 52,000 in Croke Park, and the many more watching on TV at home.
“The lakes surround us in Fermanagh and there are more people using Upper and Lower Lough Erne and enjoying it all year round,” he said.
“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.”
The RNLI partnership is part of the GAA Healthy Clubs programme, and has also seen RNLI volunteers visiting clubs around Ireland to deliver water safety talks to all age groups.
“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,” said Gareth Morrison, RNLI head of water safety.
“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.”
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