The General R Dudley Blake Lifeboat made its return on 23rd June 2018 exactly 24 years to the day since it was in Blackrock in 1994 and a whole 109 years since it was commissioned. The homecoming was celebrated through with an escort from the Louth Sub Aqua Club and music from The Samba Band. Speeches were given by Blackrock Tourism and Development Group Chairperson Aine Corcoran, Old Dundalk Society Chair Michael Gaynor, Local Historian Noel Sharkey and Dundalk Chamber Chair Pat McCormick.
A special word of thanks goes the enthusiastic support we got from the following fabulous people whom we have formed such great relationships with & very much indebted to Aidan Quigley at Loftus Hall & Hook Head, The New Ross Helen Blake Tourism Group, Mark Doyle & the Doyle family in Howth, Paddy Devoy & Devoy transport in Lusk ,Co.Dublin, Dundalk Sub Aqua Team and in particular Joanne, John & Finnbair, The Clogherhead RNLI and Charlie McCarthy, Richard Mackin from Print Express, Lorraine McCann Louth County Archivist, John Hamil & Noel Sharkey, The Samba Band from Drogheda, Gearoid & Andrei, The Blackrock Sea Scouts, Gerry Rogers for his yard, David and Chris for Photography and not forgetting relentless support & particle help of our families , Kim, Oisin & Eve, Robert, Laura, Grace & Anna, Oisin & Emer – all whom get called upon to fill in all the gaps endlessly.
This boat has had an amazing journey through history and is making its way home from Hook Head lighthouse in Wexford back to Blackrock Village where it last made a 2 day visit in 1994. Ownership of the boat has been passed to the Blackrock Tourism and Development Group who have brought the boat back home to its original resting place from 1909 as part of the Lifeboat Service based in Blackrock which saved 84 lives in total.
WATCH THE VIDEO – 23rd June 2018
The boat is now at rest in a location in Ardee where a programme of restoration is being planned but significat funding and volunteers will be required over several years so we need your continued support.