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Plaque to mark Caitríona's anniversary
A candle marks the first anniversary of the death of Caitríona Lucas at Doolin Coast Guard station where a wall plaque will be unveiled in her memory with a poem by local man Eugene Garrihy. Photograph by John Kelly.

Plaque to mark Caitríona’s anniversary

IN the week of the first anniversary of his wife’s tragic death, Bernard Lucas has said he definitely senses her presence when he is on a call-out with Doolin Coast Guard.

On September 12, 2016, Caitríona Lucas died, while on board a Kilkee Coast Guard rigid inflatable boat, during a search for Lissycasey man David McMahon (RIP).

At 4.30pm this Saturday, a plaque, in memory of Caitríona, who lived with her husband and children in Liscannor and was originally from Ballyvaughan, will be unveiled at the Doolin Coast Guard Centre.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony.

“It would be great if people come along and see what we do,” Bernard Lucas told The Clare Champion this week.
“People might not have seen the new rescue centre since it opened and this could be the opportunity to do that. They can see what we do and the gear that we have,” he added.

Since Caitríona’s untimely death, Bernard has remained hugely involved with Doolin Coast Guard. He senses a closeness to his wife, when he is on search and rescue duty.

“We were both big into it. We were on crews and search teams together over the years, as a team within a team. Most definitely, she’s there,” Bernard reflected.

Caitríona’s first anniversary fell on Tuesday of this week.

“It never leaves. Anniversaries are like birthdays in that they are special dates.

“A lot of people appreciated what Caitríona did and knew her from the different aspects of her life. It was lovely that people appreciated that and were very helpful.

“Caitríona was very committed to search and rescue work. I would encourage anybody, if they have spare time, to get involved in the likes of the coast guard, Civil Defence, Order of Malta or Red Cross.

“Anything you can do, if you can, is so worthwhile. It needn’t be coast guard. Whatever is in your local area, give it a go,” Bernard urged.

Meanwhile, a four-day 800km fundraising cycle, in memory of the five Irish Coast Guard volunteers who have died while on duty over the last 12 months, concluded on Monday.

The cycle was held in memory of Caitríona, along with Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciaran Smith, who died off Blacksod in Mayo in March, while on board the helicopter, Rescue 116.

The charities that will benefit from the fundraising cycle are Dunmore East First Responders, Dogs for the Disabled, Pieta House South East, Aoibheann’s Pink Tie and Cycle Against Suicide.

By Peter O’Connell

A plaque is to be unveiled at Doolin Coast Guard centre in memory of Caitríona Lucas, who died during a rescue mission.

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