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Mary's lap of map for the RNLI is almost complete

Lifeboats News Release

Over three months ago, Mary Nolan Hickey set out from Arklow Lifeboat Station in Wicklow, to run round the Irish coastline and complete a 'Lap Of The Map' to raise funds and awareness for the RNLI.

RNLI/Niamh Stephenson

With the finish line in sight, Mary will be returning to the very spot from where she set off, this Saturday (14 April) to be greeted by family, friends, supporters and lifeboat crew from around the country.

During her amazing adventure, 65 year-old Mary has been up hill and down dale. She has been taken into people homes and shown incredible hospitality from local businesses and clubs across the country.

Mary has captured the hearts and imagination of people nationwide, visited over 40 RNLI lifeboat stations and raised more than €32,000 for the charity so far.

Commenting on her achievement Mary said: 'I'm excited to be so close to finishing and raising a great sum for the RNLI and its volunteers.'

Mary started her journey on New Years Day 2018 with an aim to raise as much money as possible for the charity and to complete an 'RNLI LAP OF THE MAP.' She left her small business in the capable hands of her son and departed with a plan to keep in touch with the RNLI the whole way around and to rely on the kindness of strangers and people she met enroute at the various lifeboat stations. Through her dedicated support team this soon changed and local people, hotels, B&B’s all got onboard and provided Mary with everything from accommodation to massages, runners, equipment, food and much more.

Mary’s Lap of the Map has also amassed a significant following on social media, where her supporters have cheered her on through the emotional ups and downs of her journey. Her route has taken her anti clockwise around Ireland. Her initial fundraising target was €20,000 but she has long ago smashed that.

She added, ‘I started off thinking about €20,000 and would have been very happy to reach that, now we’re over €30,000 and still climbing, I suppose reaching this target shows how well supported the RNLI is by the people, places and communities I’ve been through’

She added: ‘RNLI volunteers save people at sea and on our inland waters every day. In my opinion, they’re the real heroes. They put themselves right in the thick of what can be the most unforgiving environment; our seas and waterways.’

You can join the final week of Mary’s journey by visiting her Facebook page: or by following her on Twitter @rnlilapofthemap

Her fundraising page is:


Notes to Editors
Media are welcome to attend Mary’s homecoming event at 2pm, 14 April on the main street in Arklow outside the Courthouse and then to Arklow Lifeboat Station, South Quay, Arklow.
Mary will be available for interview.

RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 0868260439, email or contact Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer on 087 648 3547 or email or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 087 1254 124 or 01 8900 460 email

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland