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Commemorative event held at SeaFest 2018, Ireland’s national maritime festival

Commemorative event held at SeaFest 2018, Ireland’s national maritime festival. Picture Jason ClarkeSeaFest, Ireland's national maritime festival, has hosted a commemorative service to remember all those who have lost their lives at sea and to recognise the heroism of all in the rescue services.

The civic and military service took place on board the LÉ William Butler Yeats, which is docked in Galway Harbour for the festival. The service was held on the first day of the three day maritime festival, which runs from Friday 29 June to Sunday 1 July.

The newly-appointed Mayor of Galway city, NIall McNelis, addressed the special commemoration.

He said it's important that while we celebrate our oceans and all the enjoyment and benefits that they bring, we take a moment to remember all those who have lost their lives at sea and all the emergency services that tirelessly work to save lives.

He also said that there were a total of 122 drownings in the last 12 months but that the number of lives being lost at sea is reducing year on year thanks to rescue services. He extended his gratitude to all.

Poems were read by Tony Hiney, Community Fundraising Manager of the Western Region of the RNLI, and Lt Cdr David Fleming, Officer Commanding of the LÉ William Butler Yeats. There was also a musical performance with two soloists and keyboard accompaniment.

Minister of State, Seán Kyne TD, accompanied by Mayor McNelis and representatives from RNLI, Irish Coast Guard, Irish Naval Service and the Air Corps, laid a white commemorative wreath.

There was a minute's silence and then a lone piper played. Ships horns sounded as an Air Corps plane flew overhead in a moving moment that concluded the ceremony.

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