Community Stories  >  Case Studies

Ballybunion Sea & Cliff Rescue

Sometimes access to funding can literally be a matter of life and death. In 1986, two Ballybunion natives - Mike Flahive and TJ McCarron - were called to assist with the rescue of two people lost in caves close to the town’s main beach. 

Both men were keen divers and knew the area well. While the rescue ultimately proved successful, lives had been in danger, highlighting the absence of a dedicated local rescue service. 

Shortly afterwards, Flahive and McCarron established Ballybunion Sea & Cliff Rescue. 

Over the intervening years, this vital lifesaving service has grown into a 24 hour, 365 day enterprise, operated by a complement of 32 volunteer staff from a base on Ballybunion’s beachfront. 

To date they have been involved in over 250 rescue missions and are involved in some 25 new missions each year.

In March 2010, the service took delivery of a newer lifeboat from the RNLI to replace a 30 year old model they had been using. It cost c163,000 and a loan had been agreed with one of the main banks. 

But difficulties arose when they tried to draw down the loan and members were forced to put in place temporary financing, which placed the service in difficulty. 

However, following the intervention of Clann Credo, the newer lifeboat has been secured and the finances for this vital service is now back on a sound footing. 

This leaves them free to concentrate what they are best at: saving lives and rescuing people in difficulty. 



Location: Ballybunion

Website: http://www.ballybunionrescue.com/