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Displaying items by tag: Podcast

In 1956, Ronnie Delany won a gold medal in the 1500m race at the Olympics in Melbourne. Now 87, and a vice president of the RNLI, Ronnie takes pride in how he competed for an all-Ireland country as an athlete, and how through his work with the RNLI he’s supporting an all-Ireland charity.

This week, on Wednesday 29 November, the Arklow athlete contributes to the highly acclaimed RNLI 200 Voices podcast with episode 104, titled A Beautiful Thing.

He talks of how the RNLI is apolitical in Ireland, of extraordinary friendships he’s made through the RNLI, and commends the charity’s commitment to saving lives at sea which is in his words “a beautiful thing”.

200 Voices hears people connected to the RNLI in Ireland and those whose lives have been touched by the lifesaving charity.

Hear from locals with a special kinship to their lifeboat station, a crew member who’s been on service for a generation, or the family of someone rescued by an RNLI frontline lifesaver — each episode is sure to take the listener on a journey through a touching story.

Launched in August, the series already features several contributions of Irish interest, including:

Available across all podcast platforms and the RNLI’s website, 200 Voices lets listeners hear from survivors, supporters, volunteers, lifeguards, celebrity ambassadors, historians and many more from across Wales, England, Scotland Ireland and beyond.

To find out more about the RNLI’s bicentenary, visit

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The RNLI’s 200 Voices podcast talks to Mark Hudson — grandson of Audrey Lawson Johnston, the youngest survivor of the Lusitania disaster — on his family’s remarkable story that ignited a life-long passion and commitment to helping save lives at sea.

In episode 61 of the podcast series, which explores captivating tales from the history of the charity that saves lives at sea through to the modern day, Mark recounts that fateful night in 1915 and its impact on his great-grandparents and granny Audrey.

On 7 May 1915, en route from New York to Liverpool, the passenger liner Lusitania was torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast of Cork. The vessel sank within 18 minutes and 1,200 lives were lost.

Against the odds, Mark’s granny Audrey, who was just three months old at the time, survived along with her mother Amy Lea, father Warren, brother Stuart and one of the family’s nursemaids, 18-year-old Alice Lines.

Mark explains the chaos of his granny’s rescue once the torpedoes had hit the ship: “Alice grabbed Audrey and Stuart and ran to the deck to try and get in a lifeboat. The ship was listing dramatically, a lifeboat was lowered… she jumped off the side to try and land in it, holding my granny in her arms and Stuart by the hand.

“They landed in the water and were pulled into a lifeboat and were saved that way.”

Courtmacsherry RNLI volunteers rowed for more than three hours to reach the area in an attempt to help with the rescue operation.

Mark said: “They had no motor and no wind and the RNLI spent three-and-a-half hours rowing to the scene. By the time they got there any survivors had been picked up, so they then spent eight hours recovering bodies.”

Sadly, Audrey’s sisters Susan and Amy, along with the family’s second nursemaid Greta Lorenson, were never found.

This pivotal moment in the family’s life became the start of their long association with the RNLI.

“We can’t find out how much my great granny [Amy Lea] did for the lifeboats, but the whole family became very involved for obvious reasons. It’s said she always raised money for the lifeboats which she passed onto granny,” Mark said.

Amy Lea was in fact pregnant when she survived the sinking of the Lusitania and eight months after the tragedy, Vivian ‘Perky’ Warren Pearl was born.

Perky and Audrey continued their mother’s dedicated fundraising for the lifesaving charity and in 2004 they raised enough money for a new D class lifeboat, which they named Amy Lea.

Amy Lea became New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat, which went on to aid 93 people and save four lives during its operational service.

‘One thing my granny used to say was, “I was saved for a reason and this is it” and that’s what she said when she dedicated the Amy Lea’

This wasn’t the only lifeboat funded by the family. Led by Mark’s father Martin and his brother Hugh, they raised enough money for New Quay’s next inshore lifeboat, naming it Audrey LJ.

When Amy Lea was retired, Audrey LJ came on service and is still operational today, although soon to be retired at the end of this year. During its service, Audrey LJ has launched 189 times, aided 150 casualties and saved the lives of six people.

Mark said: “For me it’s just so perfectly circular that she was saved from drowning and then spent a good deal of her life raising money to give the RNLI the tools to save other people… And in turn, gave that legacy to her children and grandchildren.

“You just think ‘wow’, because of this it does make a difference — those people were saved as an indirect result of this whole legacy that’s been set in motion.

“One thing my granny used to say was, ‘I was saved for a reason and this is it’ and that’s what she said when she dedicated the Amy Lea.”

Last month Mark wrote his own name into his family’s lifesaving story as he organised a charity bike ride as a fitting farewell to his granny’s legacy and the soon-to-be-retired Audrey LJ lifeboat.

Cycling a punishing 190 miles from Swansea to New Quay, 21 cyclists visited 10 RNLI lifeboat stations along the way. So far the Tour de Dyfed has raised almost £28,000 and counting, and all the proceeds will be shared equally between New Quay and Tower Lifeboat Stations.

“It was the most incredible experience for everyone involved… this amazing camaraderie developed and it opened the eyes of all of us as to what these people do,” Mark said.

“The community that builds around the lifeboat stations is something truly incredible to behold… I love being a part of this story, giving something back.”

Listen to episode 61 of the RNLI’s 200 Voices — Lifesaving in Wartime: Mark Hudson — and you can donate to his fundraising efforts by visiting the Tour de Dyfed JustGiving page.

The RNLI’s 200 Voices podcast is releasing a new episode every day for 200 days in the run-up to the charity’s bicentenary on 4 March 2024, exploring captivating stories from the charity’s history and through to the current day.

Previous episodes have featured Niamh Fitzpatrick’s personal reflection on losing her sister Dara at sea in the Rescue 116 tragedy, Courtown lifeboat crew member and priest Fr Tom Dalton on what happens when rescue turns into recovery, and Baltimore RNLI’s Kieran Cotter remembering the 1979 Fastnet tragedy.

To find out more about the RNLI’s bicentenary, visit

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Waterways Ireland’s ‘Waterways Through Time’ podcast received the bronze prize at the 20th Irish Digital Media Awards in the highly competitive Best Podcast category.

The awards, which spotlight the very best work in the Irish digital media industry, took place last Friday 29 September at the Clayton Burlington Hotel in Dublin.

Two podcast series have been developed to take listeners on a journey through the curiosities and historical insights of Ireland’s inland waterways, delving into the Guinness barges and their role on the canals, while also sharing the stories from lock-keepers on the Barrow Navigation, the Shannon and the Grand Canal.

Waterways Through Time complements other resources in the Waterways Ireland digital archive. Chief executive John McDonagh said: “Ireland has a rich inland water heritage. Through this podcast we are placing this heritage centre stage to perpetuate these unique and inspiring insights.

“Waterways Ireland has a wonderful digital archive featuring thousands of drawings, sketches, and records of the Irish inland waterways, dating from the 18th century to the present day. The podcast series complements our oral history programme and the Stories from the Waterways film series, which are available on the Waterways Ireland website. We encourage people of all ages to listen to these podcasts and to visit our digital archive, which will add to their enjoyment of our waterways.”

The podcast series was developed and presented by well-known historian Turtle Bunbury. He said: “The series contains a mix of stories, historical events and contemporary interviews with people associated with the waterways. This was a fascinating project on which to work. It was truly a pleasure to research and develop it.

“Chatting to those connected to the waterways and weaving together the various myths, legends and historical facts to tell the stories of the waterways has been a wonderful experience that gives a new perspective on our inland waterway heritage.”

The podcast series is now available on the Waterways Ireland Digital Archive and on all podcast platforms.

Published in Inland Waterways
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As previously reported on, stories from Ireland will feature in the RNLI’s new 200 Voices podcast series, which explores captivating tales from the history of the charity that saves lives at sea through to the modern day.

The first episode to feature from Ireland, this Saturday (26 August), is “Niamh Fitzpatrick Remembers One of Our Own” — a personal reflection on how after losing her sister Dara at sea in the Rescue 116 tragedy, Niamh talks about how much the RNLI means to her.

Then on Sunday (27 August) the podcast features Fr Tom Dalton, a Courtown RNLI lifeboat crew member, where the Co Wexford priest describes what is like when rescue turns into recovery in “Pulling Together”.

An event that was to change yacht racing forever, the 1979 Fastnet tragedy is the focus for “The Calm Before Force 10” on Wednesday 30 August, where Baltimore RNLI’s Kieran Cotter remembers the fateful call-out and the response to the disaster.

Later in the autumn, the series will also hear from celebrity ambassadors including musician Phil Coulter on his writing of the RNLI anthem “Home from the Sea” and former President Mary McAleese on the cross-border role of the RNLI.

Available across all podcast platforms and on the RNLI’s website, listeners can hear from survivors, supporters, volunteers, lifeguards, celebrity ambassadors, historians and many more from across Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland and beyond.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

The RNLI’s new 200 Voices podcast launched on Friday 18 August with the first of 200 episodes that will be released daily in the run-up to the charity’s bicentenary on 4 March 2024

200 Voices will explore captivating stories from the history of the charity that saves lives at sea through to the modern day.

Since it was founded in 1824, the RNLI’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 144,000 lives across Ireland and the UK.

Funded by voluntary donations, and with lifeboats crewed by specially trained volunteers, the RNLI is a truly unique rescue organisation with a remarkable 200-year story to tell — many highlights of which are shared through the podcast series.

Available across all podcast platforms and the RNLI’s website, listeners can hear from survivors, supporters, volunteers, lifeguards, celebrity ambassadors, historians and many more.

The series will hear from celebrity ambassadors such as The Sixth Commandment actor Timothy Spall, Gavin and Stacey actress Ruth Jones, Irish musician Phil Coulter, gold medal Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie and BAFTA-winning actress Joanna Scanlan.

The unique podcast series will also hear from people whose lives have been touched by the lifesaving charity, including Milena Smith, whose daughter Mabel was rescued by Barmouth lifeboat volunteers; Radio Caroline DJ Nick Richards, who stuck with the pirate radio ship until its last moments; and Niamh Fitzpatrick, whose sister Dara tragically lost her life in the Rescue 116 helicopter crash.

RNLI strategic content manager Rory Stamp said: “We knew we had to do something really special to mark the RNLI’s 200th anniversary, which is such a monumental milestone.

“200 Voices is an incredible collection of stories that are emotive, powerful, inspiring and heart-warming. The series gives us a chance to hear from a whole variety of amazing people who have played a part in or been touched by our lifesaving charity.

“200 Voices is the first in a programme of activity planned to mark the RNLI’s bicentenary as we celebrate the world-class lifesaving service we provide today, remember our remarkable history and aim to inspire the future generations of lifesavers and supporters as we move through into the next 200 years.”

200 Voices is available on the RNLI website and wherever you get your podcasts.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#MarineWildlife - The 21st year of dolphin research in the Shannon Estuary is off to an amazing start after the first ever dolphin recorded in the estuary was spotted on the Kerry coast.

As the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation (SDWF) reports, the dolphin known as 'No 1' was sighted in Brandon Bay on Saturday 25 May swimming in a group of three.

No 1 is happily a familiar sight in the region, having been recorded most years since the project began in 1993.

"It has long been known that Shannon dolphins regularly use Tralee and Brandon Bays but how important the area is in not clear," says the SDWF on its blog. "If we are to protect the Shannon dolphins we need to ensure we identify all their important habitats and extend protection to these areas if necessary."

Meanwhile, its been confirmed that the trio of bottlenose dolphins who took up residence near Bunratty Castle in the spring have been observed in the mainstream of the Shannon Estuary.

The three were spotted on the first monitoring trip of the summer from Kilrush last week by SDWF researchers of Moneypoint.

"This demonstrates again the value of long term monitoring and the power of a photo ID catalogue to monitor the Shannon dolphins," says the SDWF blog.

In other cetacean news, an in-depth discussion of the Shannon's dolphins and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's (IWDG) research of bottlenose dolphins around the Irish coastline was broadcast on Derek Mooney's afternoon show on RTÉ Radio 1 recently.

A podcast of the 30-minute segment of Mooney Goes Wild from Friday 31 May is available to download HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Olympic Team manager James O'Callaghan on a week of top results from Delta Lloyd ten days ago and the prospect of more off the Dorset coast today


Published in Olympics 2012

The Afloat Rowers of the Month for May, Sanita Puspure and Lisa Dilleen, showed how a new crew can knit together successfully: their first three results as a double scull were third, second and fifth – in the heats, semi-finals and finals at the World Cup regatta in Munich! Listen to Sanita Puspure talk about this on the Afloat Podcast (two minutes duration) here.

Published in Rowing

Siobhan McCrohan is the Afloat Rower of the Month for April. The Galway woman was a convincing winner of the women’s single sculls final at the National Trials, following a similar win at the National Assessment in Newry. Last season she placed sixth at the World Cup regatta in Lucerne in a lightweight single scull, and partnered Claire Lambe in a lightweight double scull to sixth place at the World Cup in Bled and fourth at the European Championships in Portugal. Afloat wishes Siobhan and all the Ireland team well in the season ahead.

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times, President of Rowing Ireland Anthony Dooley and David O'Brien, Editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on and the overall national award will be presented to the person or crew who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to rowing during 2011. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2011 champions list grow.

Published in Rowing
April's Mitsubishi Youth National championships is not only going to be a big test for up to 350 competitors seeking a place on the Irish team at the 2011 ISAF Youth Worlds in Croatia, it's also being treated as a 'dry run' by  Dublin Bay organisers preparing to stage the 2012 Youth worlds in little over 12 months time.

Olympic team manager James O'Callaghan has played a big role in bringing on Irish team talent. Results have been achieved in recent times in the Topper, Laser 4.7 and Radial and 420 but a top result in the youth worlds would make all the effort worthwhile.

Ireland's best ever Youth Worlds result came in 1996 when Laura Dillon and Ciara Peelo took bronze in the Laser II dinghy. The stated aim for 2012 is to at least equal this result and win a medal on the home waters of Dublin Bay.

Listen to the podcast below to hear O'Callaghan's take on the front runners for April's important Youth selection event.

Watch a preview for July's ISAF Croatian Youth Worlds Event below


Published in Youth Sailing
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About the RS21 International One Design Class

The RS21 International One Design Class is a modern keelboat, which promoters say is 'responsibly designed with performance racing at its heart'.

The powerful rig and distinct chines are balanced by well-mannered boat handling and an ergonomic deck layout to ensure everyone on board has a vital role and ease of use.

The RS21 was developed with sustainability at the core of its design, not only in terms of materials but also considering the carbon footprint in the supply chain, a reduction in single-use plastics and a focus on efficient logistics.

The RS21 International One Design Class is growing from strength to strength, with fleets active over three continents and racing calendars that escalate each year, nationally and internationally. "Removing the arms race and ensuring epically close racing in the RS21 is the future of keelboat racing," said class aficionados.