The Community and Social Responsibility Award was in recognition of the work by the association and its members in supporting Irish Water Safety’s community work and water safety in general on Ireland’s inland waterways.
The award was presented at Dublin Castle on Thursday 29 November by Seán Canney, Minister of State at the Department of Rural & Community Development.
IWAI president John Dolan, speaking after the presentation, noted that it was a great honour for him and honorary secretary Kay Baxter to receive such an award on behalf of all IWAI members both past and present for their work in this area.
Dolan also stated that he felt privileged and humbled to be present with so many other voluntary organisations, individuals and members of the rescue and security services who have given so much.
That includes those receiving Long-Service Volunteer Awards for teaching swimming, water rescue and survival skills in communities nationwide, and the rescuers who received recognition with the Just in Time Rescue Award in appreciation for saving so many lives in the past year. Irish Sailing also received an award for its support of Irish Water Safety's communuty work.
Echoing the minister’s speech at the awards, the IWAI agrees that it only takes seconds for tragedy to strike and this can so easily be avoided if people learn about the hazards and take responsibility for their own safety, including wearing lifejackets when on or near the water.
The IWAI is a voluntary body representing over 3,500 enthusiasts, with 23 branches across the island of Ireland.