If you’ve spent any time in Galway, as a visitor or resident, you’ll have definitely noticed the crew of volunteers in high-vis jackets manning O’Briens Bridge, keeping an eye out for disorientated or distressed people near the water.
These heroes are a group of 80+ volunteers called the Claddagh Watch Patrol, who all give up some of their free time to help keep disorientated or vulnerable people safe at their time of need. Each volunteer has first-aid and mental health training, and is ready to do what they can to stop people entering the water, be it by accident or intentionally.
Last year, the week before the first Covid lockdown happened, local collective and weekly club night Groovy Tuesdays organised a charity event to raise much needed funds for the Claddagh Watch, selling out their event and raising over 3,500 euro in doing so.
The collective, made up of Dan Fox, Michael Ryan, Conall Haugh, Rory Smith, Lorcan Casey and Brien Gaffney were keen to do something similar this year, but obviously with the pandemic halting their event plans, the crew had to think of other ways to offer their support, culminating in their merch drop, designed by Galway-based illustrator, Eilis Cosgrove, with 100% of all profits being donated to the brilliant Claddagh Watch.
Michael from the collective went on to explain:
When the pandemic hit we looked at ways we could still support Claddagh Watch. Conal’s girlfriend is very involved with the charity and it means a lot to us all to support Claddagh watch. They genuinely do amazing work and we feel as a group running nights it is only right that we do what we can for them as at the end of the day it is is our peers that Claddagh watch aims to look after and protect. Really can’t stress how much we respect the work they do. The term life-saving gets thrown around a lot, but they genuinely are heroes out to save lives and we have so much respect for them.
If you’d like to support the merch drop or simply want to donate to the fundraiser, simply follow this form here.