The event, which included the naming of the ‘Tara Scougall’ lifeboat in memory of a beloved daughter, wife and mother, who passed away from cancer at the age of 43, coincided with Lough Ree RNLI’s tenth anniversary on the lake.
RNLI’s Chief Executive Mark Dowie, who was visiting from England, had the honour of officially opening the station while the privilege of naming the lifeboat fell to Eleanor and Edward, children of the late Tara Scougall.
Tara, daughter of John and Diana, and wife to James, was only 43 when she died prematurely from cancer. She had lived an active life on the water having been introduced to it as a child by her late father John. Tara shared her father’s passion for sailing, and for a period she also ran an online yachting and boating magazine. An avid traveller and explorer in her professional life, Tara was one of a Microsoft team which was responsible for the creation of Expedia. Tara’s father John, meanwhile, received a lifetime achievement award from the RNLI for his work in supporting the charity.
The new lifeboat station at Lough Ree was built at a cost of €1.2m on a site kindly donated by the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland. It has taken just over two years to complete construction. It replaces the temporary accommodation at Coosan Point where the volunteer crew first launched their lifeboat from ten years ago. During the last decade, Lough Ree RNLI has responded to over 460 calls for help and brought more than 1,400 people to safety.
During Saturday’s ceremony, Mark Dowie officially opened the station before handing it into the care of Damien Delaney, founding member of Lough Ree RNLI.
James Scougall, husband of the late Tara, then handed the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI.
During his address, Mr. Ganly said the event was a special occasion for the lifeboat station adding that the crew was most grateful to the Scougall family for their generous gift.
“We’ll have peace of mind because this lifeboat will help to keep the crew safe as they save others. On behalf of all the station volunteers, I would like to thank Diana, James, Eleanor and Edward and the late John and Tara. Your generosity has given Lough Ree a lifesaver,” he said.
“As Lough Ree RNLI embarks on its latest phase, it’s apt that the volunteer crew on the Lake of Kings will use a lifeboat named after a woman whose first name invokes Tara – the seat of the High Kings of Ireland”.