Family of Colin Ronayne launch memorial fund in aid of rescue team which retrieved his body

Colin Ronayne: His body was found by volunteer searchers.

The family of a young man who died earlier this year have launched a memorial fund in aid of the organisation which retrieved his body.

UCC student Colin Ronayne was last seen alive on College Road in the early hours of New Year’s Day, and his subsequent disappearance sparked a massive search for the 31-year-old. His body was found in the River Lee near the marina by volunteers three weeks later on January 22.

The search effort was supported by Mallow Search and Rescue, a voluntary organisation that assists in water-based missing person searches, as well as providing safety boat cover for water-based events.

Now the organisation is set to benefit from the Colin Ronayne memorial fund, which will hold its first fundraiser in November.

Colin’s father, John Joe Ronayne, said the work of Mallow Search and Rescue helps bring a sense of finality to what is a traumatic time for the families of missing people. Mr Ronayne said the group deserves support because they do not receive any funding from the State and work quietly without much publicity.

“They are doing fantastic work in the background. To be fair, I knew very little about them even though I’m living in Mallow, I never knew what type of work they do. They keep a very low profile, but they are doing great work in the background. They get absolutely no Government subsidies, no grants whatsoever, they rely totally on voluntary subscriptions,” he said.

Mr Ronayne said a committee was formed in the aftermath of his son’s passing to recognise Mallow Search and Rescue’s work and raise much-needed funds for their efforts.

Colin had an interest in greyhound racing, and as John Joe works at Curraheen Racetrack, a charity racenight will be the new memorial fund’s first fundraising effort.

The Colin Ronayne Memorial Racenight will be launched at Mallow Search and Rescue’s headquarters on Tuesday, September 13, at 7.30pm while the event itself will take place on Saturday, November 26, at Curraheen Park. For more information see the group’s Facebook page


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