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Coast Guard volunteer Caitríona Lucas who died on duty awarded posthumous degree

Lucas was praised at the graduation ceremony in Wales, where her achievements as a volunteer were read out.

Caitríona Lucas
Caitríona Lucas
Image: Facebook/Doolin Coast Guard

COAST GUARD VOLUNTEER Caitríona Lucas, who died during an operation off the Clare coast last year, has been awarded a posthumous degree at Aberystwyth University in Wales.

Lucas, who passed away after rough seas threw her from a boat while looking for a missing person, was studying Information and Library Studies at the college.

A librarian, the mother-of-two (41) was the first ever Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die during a rescue.

Lucas was praised at the graduation ceremony where her achievements as a volunteer were read out.

She studied by distance learning while also bringing up a family, working as a librarian for Clare County Council, and volunteering for the Search and Rescue Dog Association.

Speaking during the morning ceremony, Professor Judy Broady-Preston, director of the Institute of Professional Development, said: “Caitríona Lucas died on 12 September 2016 whilst on active service as a volunteer with the Irish Coast Guard during a search for a missing swimmer. Caitríona joined the service in 2006 and served with her husband Bernard who joins us today, together with her son Ben.

“An excellent and popular student, Caitríona was due to complete her degree in 2017. Aber students and staff remember her lively personality, energy, enthusiasm and professional commitment. Today, we celebrate her life and achievements.”

Speaking about his colleague in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy in September, Mattie Shannon, the officer in charge of the Doolin Coast Guard unit, told RTÉ’s Seán O’Rourke:

She just loved the Coast Guards, that’s what she wanted to do… It’s terrible that a young woman could lose her life like this…There are many people in the Coast Guard but Caitríona was up there with the best of them.

Read: ‘Caitríona was up there with the best of them’: Shock at sadness at death of Coast Guard volunteer >

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