A young woman who lost her father in Lough Swilly has completed a long distance swim in aid of the RNLI in Inishowen.
Claire Coulter, who currently lives in Popovo in Bulgaria, completed her marathon five kilometre swim on Saturday past.
Her father Brian, brother of internationally-renowned singer-songwriter Phil Coulter, drowned while he was windsurfing in Lough Swilly in 1984.
Speaking to the Inish Times from Wild Thyme Organic Farm, which she now calls “home,” a tired but happy Claire said: “I am delighted to announce I raised €900, between donations and gift aid, for the Lough Swilly Inishowen RNLI.
“I have just completed my swim and I would like to thank everyone who donated money to my Just Giving page.
“I have a personal connection with the life-saving organisation, which does such incredibly brave work.
“My father drowned at a time when there was no lifeboat service for Lough Swilly.
“However, in response to his passing, local people including my uncle (Phil Coulter) worked hard to set up a lifeboat station, which opened in 1988. So, for almost 30 years now, the RNLI have been saving and rescuing people from Lough Swilly,” said Claire.
Lough Swilly RNLI is a voluntary organisation, with boats crewed by volunteers and sustained by donations from the public.
Claire added: “Over those three decades, 42 lives have been saved and 488 people have been rescued. Inish Times readers can see the amazing work of Lough Swilly RNLI on YouTube ().
“I chose to do a sponsored swim because my dad passed his love of water and swimming onto me.
“I swam one kilometre a day for the past five days, in a swimming pool at Pirin Resort in Bulgaria and now I am ready for a rest!”
The Lough Swilly Inishowen branch of the RNLI is also hoping to raise much-needed funds by reviving its famous ‘No Name Art Sale.’
Speaking to the Inish Times, the event’s co-organiser, Marie Kelly (Buncrana), said the branch had invited artists from all over Ireland to participate.
She explained: “Patricia McAteer (Ramelton) and I decided to revive the “No Name Art Sale” this year as a fundraiser for the RNLI.
“We had a similar event in the Plaza in Buncrana about five or six years ago and it was a terrific success.
“There are 46 RNLI stations throughout Ireland. Each station costs €250,000 per year to run. And all of the crew members are entirely voluntary.
“We are privileged to have Dr Denise Ferran, the president of the Royal Ulster Academy, to open the ‘No Name Art Sale,’ which is taking place in the Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Bishop Street, Derry, on Wednesday, June 14, at 7.00pm,” said Ms Kelly.
Explaining how a “No Name Art Sale” works, Ms Kelly said: “We have sent a piece of board measuring 18cm by 24cm to artists throughout Ireland, asking them to consider painting or drawing or using any medium of their own choice, to create an image.
“The artists sign their name on the back of the board, as it is an anonymous sale. They then, hopefully, return their finished pieces to Patricia or me.”
She concluded: “All of the art work will be displayed at the ‘No Name Art Sale on June 14 and people will be free to purchase any piece, which takes their fancy.”
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