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Achill Island RNLI pays tribute to lifeboat volunteer and friend Mattie Stafford

Lifeboats News Release

Achill Island RNLI has paid tribute to fellow lifeboat volunteer and friend Mattie Stafford, of Slievemore, following his untimely death.

RNLI/Achill Island

Mattie Stafford receiving a 20 years Long Service Medal from the RNLI's Declan Dixon

In a warm tribute, the lifeboat station’s volunteers said that it was with deepest shock, regret and sympathy to his family and his wide circle of friends that they reported the untimely passing of their esteemed former crew member, emergency Coxswain and current Deputy Launching Authority, Mattie Stafford.

Achill Island RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Tony McNamara said: ‘Mattie brought his many skills and ability not least in the fields of seamanship and mechanics to the Achill Island lifeboat over many long years.

‘There were few problems on land or on sea that would get the better of Mattie. He will also be greatly missed by the fishing community especially around Purteen Harbour where Mattie was for many years the ‘go to’ man to quickly sort a problem and get you to sea.

‘As a long standing and experienced crewman and Coxswain, he was generous with his time and advice to new crew and his advice was always welcomed and valued on the lifeboat in difficult situations on many occasions.’

Mattie was awarded the RNLI Long Service Medal following 20 years on the lifeboat crew. On his retirement from the crew, he took on the roles of Deputy Launching Authority and on the station operations team.

‘We will miss his advice, experience and camaraderie and the Achill Island lifeboat family will be the poorer for his untimely passing. To his wife Kathleen, his children Jacinta, Matthew, Caitriona and Genevieve and his extended family we offer our support and deepest sympathy. Ar dheis De go raibh a ainm cinealta’.

Mattie’s funeral Mass takes place at 12 noon this afternoon, Monday, in St Patrick’s Church, Pollagh, followed by burial in Slievemore Cemetery.

Ends

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For more information please telephone Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 0876483547 or Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 0871254124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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