CROWDFUND

Efforts underway to save the old Dudley Blake lifeboat

The Blackrock community want to restore a piece of local history

Barry Landy

Reporter:

Barry Landy

Email:

barry.landy@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Efforts underway to save the old Dudley Blake lifeboat

The lifeboat then (above) and now (below)

The community in Blackrock have begun a campaign to return and restore a piece of village history to the heart of the community - an old lifeboat, the General R Dudley Blake.

Currently residing near Hook Head lighthouse in Wexford, the lifeboat has recently had its ownership transferred to the Blackrock Tourism & Development Group. They are now calling on the public to help bring it back as a stunning link back to community days of yore.

The group are now crowdfunding to get resources to bring the boat back to the coastal village and restore it to its former glory. All funds raised by the initiative will go towards securing the boat for transport, bringing it back to North Louth and the insurance costs that are associated with that.

The first lifeboat station in Dundalk Bay was established in 1859 following the loss of the Mary Stoddart in 1858.

The Life Boathouse was erected by Lord Clermont and from 1859 to 1935 it had four lifeboats with the last two both being named the General R. Dudley Blake.

According to records, the service was called out 40 times and saved 84 lives. At the time of going to print, just over €600 of the €2,000 funding target had been raised via the crowdfunding. You can give a donation yourself by logging onto http://www.visitblackrock.ie/dudley.

The group plan to bring the lifeboat back to Blackrock at the end of June and hope as many people can give what they can now before coming out to see the boat itself come back.

A location to store the General R Blake Dudley lifeboat boat during its restoration has already been secured.