A chance meeting during the Lusitania centenary commemoration earlier this year in Courtmacsherry spawned the idea to mark the 25th anniversary of the Courtmacsherry Model Lifeboat that proved a major attraction for more than a decade in the scenic village.
This weekend, model makers from all over Ireland and some from Britain will showcase their exhibits — lifeboats, ships, trucks, planes, helicopters, tanks, buildings, drones, and steam engines in the community hall.
Yorkshire man Alan Wilson, who is a model maker, has a great affinity with the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat and has made a generous financial donation to the local station.
He has also presented a beautifully crafted model lifeboat that is on display at the local RNLI station.
Mr Wilson and Eric Newton from the north-east of England subsequently contacted former Courtmacsherry Lifeboat coxswain Diarmuid O’Mahony, who heads up the local organising team for this weekend’s event.
Having suffered some weather disasters over the last few years, this year it was decided to host the display at the Courtmacsherry Community Hall. Local figure Micheál Hurley, who came up with the initial idea, explains.
“Yes, when we began in 1992, it certainly was something different. However, our biggest problem was the rain. As you can imagine, the model makers are extremely proud of their models and they didn’t want them damaged. At that time, we had to resort to plastic and anything else that sheltered the models.”
In the past, the event attracted huge crowds to Courtmacsherry and organisers of this Model Mania weekend are hoping for similar numbers.
The local lifeboat organisation relies heavily on fundraising and the weekend’s event follows in the footsteps of the marathon walk that was an outstanding success and is now set to become an annual event.
The Courtmacsherry RNLI has a crew of 32 — including just one woman, Antje Gesche, who will be leaving Courtmacsherry in a few weeks’ time.
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