From Left:
Connie O’Gara (RNLI crew member), Michelle Gavin and Alan Goucher (RNLI crew member).

A Coventry widow who left her entire estate to charity has funded a new lifeboat in Ireland after naming the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) as the sole beneficiary in her will.

Audrey Deakin lived on Wall Hill Road in Allesley until her death in April 2015. She lived there with her husband Dennis Deakin but he sadly passed away in September 1991.

Audrey and Dennis enjoyed holidays by the sea, and were impressed by the work of RNLI volunteers and loved the idea of having a lifeboat named after them both as part of their legacy.

The RNLI chose Wicklow Lifeboat Station to receive a new lifeboat, and the boat was officially handed over by Audrey’s solicitor Michelle Gavin from Band Hatton Button to RNLI Irish chairman David Delamer at a naming ceremony and service of dedication last month.

Named the Dennis-Audrey, the new D class lifeboat can operate closer to shore than other lifeboats and is ideal for working in shallow waters, near rocks and cliffs, inside caves and can be righted by crew if it capsizes.

Des Davitt, Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: “Every rescue is powered by our generous supporters, people like Dennis and Audrey. Their kind and selfless gift will help ensure we in Wicklow are ready for the next call, wherever and whenever it comes. For that, the RNLI and everyone at Wicklow lifeboat station will be forever grateful to them.”

Michelle Gavin, Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate at Band Hatton Button, acted on behalf of Audrey’s executors.

She added: “I was honoured to attend the naming ceremony. I was also really pleased, as I am sure Audrey would have been, to hear that the lifeboat has already been called into action when the Coast Guard reported a casualty who had fallen from the quayside onto the Strand beach while cycling at Wicklow Harbour. I’m delighted Audrey’s legacy has been put to such good use.”