During his address, Mr Ganly said the event was a special occasion for the lifeboat station adding that the crew were most grateful to the Scougall family for their generous gift in memory of their daughter, wife and mother:
‘As Lifeboat Operations Manager along with the deputy launching authorities, part of my job is to authorise her launch when requested. It’s my job to send a message to the volunteers, asking them to get down to the station as quick as possible.
‘When the crew arrive here and get kitted up and head out on the lake, we’ll have peace of mind because this lifeboat will help to keep them 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.’
The Tara Scougall replaces the first lifeboat in service at Lough Ree, the Dorothy May.
‘As Lough Ree RNLI embarks on its latest phase,’ Mr Ganly continued, ‘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.’
Father Patrick Murphy and Reverend William Steacy led the congregation in a Service of Dedication before Eleanor and Edward were invited forward to do the naming.
A crowd of well-wishers turned up to see the lifeboat officially named with a bottle of champagne poured over the side before it launched at the end of the ceremony.
Throughout the event, guests were treated to music and song performed by Dermod Foy and P.J Stacey, who together delivered the lifeboat anthem, Home from the Sea and Where the Three Counties Meet. The national anthem was led by the Band 2 Brigade who also led the lifeboat launch at the end of the ceremony with a performance of Zadok the Priest by George Frideric Handel.
Among the guests on the platform party were Mary Hearty, Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Administrative Officer, who welcomed guests and opened proceedings, RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie who officially opened the lifeboat station and accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI, Damien Delaney, founding member of Lough Ree RNLI, James Scougall who handed the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI and his children Eleanor and Edward who named the lifeboat, Kevin Ganly, Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, and Lough Ree RNLI Helm Shane McCormack who gave a vote of thanks and closed proceedings.
The Atlantic 85 class lifeboat was introduced into the RNLI fleet in 2005. The lifeboat is 8.4m in length and weighs 1.8 tonnes. Improvements on its predecessor include a faster top speed of 35 knots, radar, provision for a fourth crew member and more space for survivors.