Tributes paid to founding member of Castletownbere RNLI following his passing

Tributes paid to founding member of Castletownbere RNLI following his passing
Donal O'Driscoll, Castletownbere. RIP.Photo: Niall Duffy

Donal O'Driscoll, a founding member of Castletownbere RNLI station has been remembered as a "great leader with a steady hand on the wheel" following his passing.

Mr O'Driscoll, originally from Sherkin Island, passed away on Friday, peacefully, in Castletownbere Community Hospital.

A stalwart member of the Castletownbere community, Mr O'Driscoll was instrumental in establishing a new lifeboat station in the town in 1997.

"Prior to that, it would have just been Baltimore and Valentia closest to the town. 

"Donal recognised the gap in the provisions and was one of the key figures in canvassing to have a lifeboat in Castletownbere," Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat operations manager Paul Stevens told The Echo.

"He brought a wealth of experience from a life working in the fishing industry and was appointed the station’s first Honorary Secretary by the RNLI in October 1997.

"He was a great leader with a steady hand on the wheel," Mr Stevens continued. 

Castletownbere RNLI, founded in 1997.
Castletownbere RNLI, founded in 1997.

In this role as Honorary Secretary, Mr O'Driscoll had responsibility for managing the station and making sure the lifeboat was fully operational and manned at all times. 

After his retirement, Mr O'Driscoll maintained a great interest in the station and was always a loyal supporter. 

"The Management Committee and volunteers of Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat extend our deepest sympathy to his family and his wide circle friends. 

"Owing to the current restrictions, the funeral will be private to the family. 

"However, in order to honour Donal's huge contribution to our station, a restricted number of lifeboat crew will form a guard of honour outside the lifeboat station after the funeral Mass," Castletownbere RNLI wrote on social media. 

Mr O'Driscoll was also one of the founders of Castletownbere Fishermans Co-Op, The Irish South and West Fisherman's Organisation and The Irish South & West Fishermen's Producer Organisation

He is remembered by The Irish South and West Fish Producer's Organisation as "the most vocal, articulate and valued representative of our [the fishing] industry both at home and abroad".

"His contribution to the Industry and the communities of the Beara peninsula is legendary," the organisation stated.

Mr O'Driscoll is survived by his wife Maisie and six children, Liam, Brendan, Marian, Donald, Christine and Sinead.

Our condolences to the family. May he rest in peace. 

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