May 30th, 2002
The summer home of WB Yeats, Elsinore, is the name given to Sligos first
In the shadow of William Middletons Elsinore Lodge in Rosses Point, the Type 75 lifeboat was christened by Catherine Hamilton, daughter of the late Captain Christopher LEstrange who first proposed the setting up of a lifeboat station in Sligo bay.
The new home of the "Elsinore", the Sligo Bay Lifeboat Station, was officially opened at the naming ceremony on Saturday by Terence Johnson of the RNLI.
The station came about as the result of constant campaigning by Captain LEstrange and many Sligo people, including Eddie McLoughlin, a resident of Rosses Point.
The Coastal Review Group gave the project the green light in 1997, provided the Sligo branch of the RNLI could raise the necessary 25 per cent funding - £150,000.
In 1998 a fund-raising committee was set up with the task of raising the money.
Their phenomenal success meant they raised £168,000, well beyond their target.
Brendan Healy, Chairman of the Lifeboat Station, paid tribute to the fund-raising committee and its chairman, Martin Reilly.
Mr Reilly in turn thanked those who had supported the various fund-raising events.
"You can be proud that you have answered our call for help and have provided a lifeboat for the people of Sligo and all who use Sligo Bay for work or play," he said.
Catherine Hamilton said she was deeply touched that the lifeboat station committee saw fit to ask her to name the lifeboat.
"When my father retired from Irish Lights and moved back to Sligo his great ambition was to raise sufficient funds to have a lifeboat stationed in Sligo Bay... He would have been so proud to see his most earnest wish come to fruition."
As well as opening the station, Terence Johnson officially handed over the lifeboat to Harry Ewing, Honorary Secretary of the Sligo Bay station.
Accepting the vessel, Mr Ewing said: "You can have no doubt that in the years to come, this lifeboat will be responsible for the safe return of people who would otherwise perish on the sea."