Help us bring some Ballycotton history home and save the boat that saved so many.
A committee has been formed in Ballycotton comprising of individual locals and local businesses and we need to raise the funds required to lift The Mary Stanford from Dublin's Dock and safely transport her to Ballycotton. Here she will be raised on a plinth near the entrance to the famous Ballycotton Cliff walk and may need to be covered during her restoration.
In order to carry out this plan we need financial help. Keep in touch via Facebook (savethemarystanford) for information on future fundraising events.
The Mary Stanford, Ballycotton, was the first and is the only Lifeboat in RNLI history to have been awarded a gold medal for gallantry, that is the boat herself, as well as her brave crew for the famous Daunt Lightship rescue on 11th February 1936 and she now sadly languishes in a backwater of Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock almost certainly heading towards being scuttled unless she is rescued soon!
The ‘Mary Stanford’ historic and personal history story reaches beyond Ballycotton, as the original ‘Mary Stanford’ was a lifeboat stationed in Rye (1916) that met a very different fate on 15 November 1928 when the whole of the 17 man crew were drowned, tragically wiping out practically the whole male fishing population of the small town of Rye. There have been books and songs written about this tragedy and Jacqui Stanford (no relation), who runs the Shipwreck Museum in Hastings, UK is raising funds to convert the old lifeboat house in Rye into a Heritage Centre that will also honor the tragically lost crew. Already attracting plenty of public interest the band ‘Snow Patrol ‘ made a music video at the derelict building on the Rye coastline.
The funding for the original 1916 lifeboat was met by a legacy In Memory of Mary Stanford and after the Rye tragedy John Frederick Stanford – son of Mary Stanford paid for the new lifeboat sent to Ballycotton in 1930, where she went on to serve an illustrious career.
She was the Ballycotton Lifeboat from 1930 to 1959 and was called out on 41 ‘shouts’ saving 122 lives. The most famous rescue being The Daunt Lightship rescue on 11th February 1936, as a result of this heroic rescue she was the first and remains the only lifeboat in RNLI history to be awarded a gold medal for gallantry (boat as well as crew).
Today she is moored and deteriorating fast in a backwater of Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock – not a fate deserved by any hero.
As this is a very important part of Ballycotton and RNLI history, members of the community including relatives of the heroic Mary Stanford Coxswain Patrick (Patsy) Sliney, are teaming up to endeavor to bring The Mary Stanford home.