Doolin Coast Guard station named after Caitríona Lucas

Doolin Coast Guard station named after Caitríona Lucas

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

A Coast Guard station in Co Clare has been named after a volunteer who lost her life in active service last year.

One of the busiest in the country, the Doolin base is now known as The Caitríona Lucas Coast Guard Station.

The 41-year-old mother-of-two who died tragically on September 12th 2016 while engaged in a search for a man reported missing in Kilkee.

At the time, Caitríona was on board a search boat with two other volunteers from the local Kilkee station. The rigid inflatable boat (RIB) capsized throwing the crew into the sea.

During a massive multi-agency operation, all three volunteers were rescued however Caitríona was later pronounced dead in hospital.

Yesterday, Caitríona’s family gathered at the Doolin station along with members of the Irish Coast Guard and personnel from both volunteer and statutory emergency services including the Search and Rescue Dog Association with whom Caitríona also volunteered.

A crew from the Rescue 115 base at Shannon Airport also flew in for the ceremony.

 Caitríona’s daughter Emma and son Ben unveiled a special plaque which has been mounted on the front wall of the station where Caitríona and her husband Bernard volunteered.

Bernard remains an active member of the unit and was involved in the search for a missing man near Doonbeg just hours before yesterdays memorial ceremony. Bernard returned to service less than a fortnight after Caitríona’s tragic death.

A small memorial garden is also being erected on the grounds of the station in Caitríona’s memory.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick.

Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station’s flagship current affairs programme.

He was also the station’s News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day.

As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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