Derrylin O’Connells in County Fermanagh, recently hosted a water safety workshop delivered by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the charity that saves lives at sea.
The GAA have been working together with RNLI through the ‘Respect the Water’ campaign to share life-saving advice, at local and national level, to clubs and supporters throughout the country.
Nowhere in Ireland is far from the water. The RNLI and the GAA share the same core values of community activity and volunteerism. Many GAA clubs are based in coastal communities, with 333 clubs in a 10km radius of the 46 RNLI lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland. Their location makes them ideal for raising awareness of the causes of drowning and how to prevent it.
Eimhear Reilly, Derrylin O’Connells Healthy Club Officer, was an attendee of the ‘Respect the Water’ campaign showcased in Brewster Park during this year’s Ulster Senior Football Championship, and was keen to have the awareness workshop brought to her local club.
Located within a few miles of Lough Erne, many of the club’s members and wider community regularly spend time on or near water. The workshop enables participants to understand the benefits of learning tips and skills on how to survive if you find yourself suddenly plunged into cold water and fighting for your life.
Whether located close to the coast or inland water, every club can benefit from empowering their members to be more aware of the dangers posed by being on or around water.
Eimhear commented: “We were delighted to welcome the RNLI to Derrylin to share their Respect the Water and Float to Live campaigns with the community. They delivered the programme in an interactive, interesting and informative way. It was particularly relevant to our club given our proximity to Lough Erne, but I would encourage any club or community group to reach out to the RNLI, the messages they deliver could save someone’s life one day.”
If your club would like to avail of a Respect the Water workshop, please contact Ulster GAA Community & Health Manager Maura McMenamin on firstname.lastname@example.org.