#RNLI - The RNLI has warned the public in Donegal to keep on the lookout after reports that a man in a Santa Claus outfit was falsely claiming to be collecting for the lifeboat charity at the weekend.
A spokesperson for the RNLI told the Donegal Democrat that Gardaí in Bundoran were alerted to a man soliciting donations throughout the popular surf town on Saturday and Sunday.
The RNLI confirmed that it has no collections going at present, though its crew members and volunteers will soon be selling tickets to a fundraising dinner dance in February 2013.
RNLI Bundoran adds:
Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat are today (Monday 19th November) warning members of the public to be aware of a man dressed in a Santa suit claiming to be doing a collection on behalf of the organisation in the local area.
Members of the voluntary organisation were made aware of the character on Sunday evening after a member of the public said that he had called to his house in the West End of the seaside resort. The Gardai were immediately notified and an alert issued to the public via the lifeboat station's social media pages.
Volunteer Fundraiser for Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat, Cormac McGurren said 'this news is particularly disturbing in this day and age and we would encourage anybody who is approached by this man to refuse to hand over any money to him and report him immediately to the local Gardai. Members of the RNLI doing any collection will always be carrying official RNLI branded buckets and wearing official clothing. We will shortly commence selling tickets for our annual dinner dance at the start of February but I can confirm that we currently have no collections operating in the Bundoran & Ballyshannon area'
Lifeboat Press Officer Shane Smyth added 'the RNLI is a very respected and trusted organisation in the area and we are constantly relying on the generosity of locals to keep the service funded year round so that we can save lives at sea. An incident such as this is particularly unhelpful and we would ask people to be vigilant'