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World Irish Dancing Competitors Swap Pumps for their Wellies in Support of RNLI

16th April 2017
 Tara Brady, Doireann Ní Ryan, Allah Marsh, Ava Lawrence, Ella Kennedy and Ronan O’Brien pictured dancing in RNLI yellow wellies on the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin Tara Brady, Doireann Ní Ryan, Allah Marsh, Ava Lawrence, Ella Kennedy and Ronan O’Brien pictured dancing in RNLI yellow wellies on the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin

The 2017 World Irish Dancing Championships come to a close in Dublin today but not before a group of the budding dance stars swapped their pumps and hard shoes for the RNLI’s yellow wellies to show their support for Mayday, the charity’s annual national fundraising campaign which is calling out for people to ‘Do your bit, fund our kit’.

The talented troupe of Irish dancers who were competing in the 47th World Irish Dancing Championships organised by An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, showed off their signature moves in bright yellow wellies in Dublin’s city centre to encourage the public to support Mayday, which is raising funds for crucial RNLI kit for the charity’s brave volunteer lifeboat crews.

Worn by generations of crews to grip the deck in slippery conditions, the iconic yellow wellies keep crew members safe and steady on stormy seas. Just like Irish dancing shoes, RNLI-issue sea boots have reinforced toecaps to protect the crews’ feet.

Doireann Ní Ryan from the Ryan School of Irish Dancing in Tipperary said: ‘Swapping my Irish dancing shoes for yellow wellies has been a humbling experience. I couldn’t dance without my pumps or hard shoes and the RNLI’s volunteers couldn’t save lives at sea without their yellow wellies and the rest of their lifesaving kit. So, I’d encourage everyone to visit RNLI.org/Mayday to see how they can support the RNLI’s Mayday campaign.’

Mayday distress calls can come in any time, day or night, 365 days a year, with volunteer crew members from 46 lifeboat stations in Ireland on standby to drop everything in an instant to save lives at sea.

Pauline McGann, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager said: ‘Our crews rely on lifesaving kit, like their yellow wellies, lifejackets and helmets, when they go out in all weathers to save lives at sea. From sponsored bike rides and welly walks, to running a bake sale, there are all sorts of ways to raise money for the RNLI this Mayday. Visit RNLI.org/Mayday to download a fundraising pack and see how you can do your bit to fund our kit.’

Money raised through Mayday fundraising events will help kit out RNLI lifeboat crews so they’re ready to face the harshest conditions at sea, with it costing €2,168 to provide an all-weather lifeboat crew member with all of the vital kit they need during a rescue.

Mayday fundraising events are taking place right across Ireland, many with a yellow welly theme.

In Dublin, a D class lifeboat will be on display in Grand Canal Square as yellow welly pin badges will be sold on Thursday and Friday 27 and 28 April from 10am to 4pm. An Atlantic 85 class lifeboat will be on display on Patrick Street in Cork city where badges will be on sale on the 28 and 29 April. Meanwhile, across the west of Ireland, badges will be on sale at various shopping centres and supermarkets over two weekends from the 29-30 April and 5-6 May. Mayday badges will also be on sale in Aldi stores on Mayday, Monday 1 May.

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