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  • Northside East

Northside GAA star backs water safety campaign 

Saturday, 18th March, 2017 1:00pm
Northside GAA star backs  water safety campaign 

Pictured at the launch of the ‘Respect the Water’ campaign, which will run throughout the summer, were from left, Howth RNLI crew member Fin Goggin, Dublin ladies’ footballer Lyndsey Davey, broadcaster Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh and Howth RNLI mechanic Ian Sheridan. PHOTO: SEB DALY/SPORTSFILE

Northside GAA star backs  water safety campaign 

Pictured at the launch of the ‘Respect the Water’ campaign, which will run throughout the summer, were from left, Howth RNLI crew member Fin Goggin, Dublin ladies’ footballer Lyndsey Davey, broadcaster Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh and Howth RNLI mechanic Ian Sheridan. PHOTO: SEB DALY/SPORTSFILE

A NORTHSIDE Gaelic football star, whose relative died in a tragedy at sea, has lent her support to a partnership involving the RNLI and the GAA, aimed at saving lives. 

Last week the RNLI and GAA launched ‘Respect the Water’. During the summer they will work with volunteers in local communities to promote the campaign and share key safety messages and advice.

Dublin and Skerries Harps footballer Lyndsey Davey has a very personal reason for getting involved.

Her great uncle, Michael Hayes, was the skipper on the Tit Bonhomme, which sank off Glandore Harbour in County Cork in 2012 with the loss of five of the six crew, including Mr Hayes. 

“The loss of Michael and his crew was a very difficult time for all the families involved,” said Lyndsey. 

“During the days and weeks following the sinking, the whole community of Union Hall really came together. 

“The search and rescue efforts were relentless and the support given was incredible.” 

Lyndsey said she is getting involved in the campaign because she wants to give something back and help create awareness around water safety and drowning. 

“In doing so I hope we can prevent any family the pain of losing a loved one through drowning,” the three times GAA All-Star added.

Every year an average of 28 people drown accidentally around the Irish coast. 

The RNLI is aiming to halve coastal drowning by 2024 and the GAA will work with the charity to engage with clubs and communities, particularly on the coast, to provide information and support that could save lives.

‘Respect the Water’ will be supported through the GAA’s Healthy Clubs initiative and the wider club network. 

A number of GAA clubs are based in coastal communities with 333 of them in a 10km radius of the 46 RNLI lifeboat stations in Ireland. 

Their location makes them ideally placed for sharing information and raising awareness of the causes of drowning and how to prevent it.

Speaking at the launch, RNLI chief executive, Paul Boissier, said: “Drowning devastates communities, but it’s often accepted as just part of life by the water. 

“We believe that many of these deaths are preventable and we need to work with other organisations who, like us, want to keep their communities safe. 

“Much like a lifeboat station, a GAA club is at the heart of community life. Sporting communities can play a major role in preventing deaths by drowning.

“Through their approach to the sport and their position in the community they are well placed to be lifesavers.”

Through the partnership the RNLI invited the GAA to their training college in Poole and to Portsmouth University, to meet cold water shock expert Professor Mike Tipton.

As well as Lyndsey Davey, three other GAA athletes - Jackie Tyrell, Neil McManus and Lee Chin - experienced what it was like to be plunged into cold water and see the effects of it on the body.

Legendary broadcaster Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, who was Master of Ceremonies for the launch, has also narrated a specially commissioned short film for the partnership. 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here