A deputation from the Group seeking to find a permanent home for the Sir Samuel Kelly lifeboat briefed Tourism Minister Arlene Foster on the project at a meeting in Stormont on Tuesday 13th January. The meeting was arranged by Alex Easton MLA who was accompanied by David Cochrane, John Caldwell, Noel Johnston and Ken Walsh.
Speaking after the meeting, Ken Walsh, who has had a keen interest in the boat since its return to Donaghadee in the early 1980’s said “While, understandably, the Minister was unable to commit any funds at this early stage, the meeting was very useful in that it provided an opportunity for us to outline the importance of the project in the wider context of the need for Donaghadee to have a visitor attraction. We are very grateful to Alex Easton for making the arrangements”
Alex Easton is supportive of the project. He said “Donaghadee has a very rich history. The part played by the Sir Samuel Kelly in the Princess Victoria disaster of 1953 is an important piece of that history and we owe it to all those involved in the disaster that the boat is preserved for future generations. I wish the Group well in its endeavours and am happy to help and assist as necessary”