24 December 2021
By Tom Collins
A Kinsale fisherman has used almost 170 lobster pots to create a 15ft high Christmas beside the harbour master’s office on Kinsale pier with donations raised going to Kinsale RNLI
Eamonn O’Neill’s inspiration came from a similar structure he spotted a number of years ago when he was fishing up the west coast of Scotland. The image stuck in his mind and he was determined to recreate it and bring some festive fun to his home port.
While the idea was his own, Eamonn says he could not have built the tree without his own version of Santa’s little helpers: ‘It was a team effort involving harbour master Quentin Ryder, Cork County Council’s senior harbour master Julian Renault, fishermen Duncan Sinclair and Des Hurley, and our busy little elves, Adele Renault and Josh, Ewan, Emily and Lachlan Ryder.
‘All coastal communities appreciate the work of their RNLI volunteers and it’s important to highlight the fact that they remain on call 24/7 throughout the Christmas period.
Kevin Gould, Kinsale RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘We want to thank Eamonn for this wonderful addition to the harbour this Christmas and for thinking of us so this could also be a fundraiser to help save lives at sea.
‘As we come to the end of another year, we would also like to thank everyone who has supported us in any way in 2021. Our dedicated crew members will remain on call and will be wearing pagers, ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice this Christmas, and rush to the aid of someone in trouble on the water.
‘Our wish for everyone planning a trip to the coast or a festive dip this Christmas or New Year, is that they do so safely. We urge everyone to be extra cautious and understand the risks and know how to stay safe before entering cold water.