Coast Guard volunteer Caitríona Lucas who died on duty awarded posthumous degree
Coast Guard volunteer Caitríona Lucas, who died during an operation off the coast of Clare 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.
Caitríona was praised at the graduation ceremony where her achievements as a volunteer were read out and the college held a minute’s silence as it honoured her at the ceremony.
She was studying by distance learning, while working as a librarian for Clare County Council, volunteering for the Search and Rescue Dog Association and raising a family.
Speaking during ceremony last week, 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.”
Ms Lucas, originally from Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, was the first member of the Irish Coast Guard to die on duty.
She volunteered about 700 hours a year with the service and had been working with them for about 10 years.