Club members and guests on the maiden voyage.

Dream comes true as Lady Amanda makes maiden voyage

Drumree Paralympian Kerrie Leonard joined her Cavan counterpart, Britney Arendse from Mullagh, and the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, for the launch of an accessible boat for trips on Lough Ramor.

A dream to have an accessible boat for trips on Lough Ramor was fulfilled by Ramor Watersports Club after a fundraising campaign to raise some €70,000 to purchase the boat. Named The Lady Amanda, in memory of Amanda Brady, a past volunteer with Ramor Watersports, Minister Humphreys officially launched the boat, a Coulam V20, from the jetty at The Lakeside Manor Hotel to huge applause from the hundreds there for this momentous occasion.

The Coulam V20 Accessible boat is just one of 18 in all of Ireland and the Club encourages those with mobility issues, as well as the able bodied, to experience a guided trip of Lough Ramor on the Lady Amanda.

Minister Humphreys said: “I am pleased that the Government was able to support this wonderful club with €30,000 in funding under the Sports Capital Programme to the purchase the ‘Lady Amanda’. I want to commend all of the volunteers in this club who have put in huge amounts of time and effort in raising vital funds. This wonderful asset will give an experience like no other to thousands of people, young and old."

John Wilson, commodore of Ramor Watersports Club said: “We are absolutely delighted to have a Coulam V20 Accessible Boat available on Lough Ramor to enable people with disabilities and mobility issues, as well as the able-bodied, experience sailing and enjoying trips on this fabulous lake. As well as people from our local area, we have had great interest from those in neighbouring counties of Meath and Louth. The boat is available for any sports club or group for 1½ hour guided trips on Lough Ramor”.

The Coulman V20 was launched at an event at The Lakeside Manor Hotel on Lough Ramor on Saturday 18th June to much fanfare and pageantry that included a flotilla of boats that escorted the Lady Amanda Accessible Boat on her maiden voyage. The event was attended by a host of celebrity Paralympian sailors as well as local people, local politicians, business owners and sponsors.

The launch event included a naming ceremony by the children and partner of the late Amanda Brady who was a valued member of the Ramor Watersports Club. The Lady Amanda Accessible Boat was officially named on the launch day by her children Jasmine, Marley, Merryn, and partner Mervyn.

The Coulam V20 has a 10-person capacity and on its maiden voyage Minister Humphreys, local Paralympians and club ambassadors enjoyed a boat trip on Lough Ramor. The boat was skippered by a Ramor Watersports Club member and wheelchair user, Jim O’Reilly and his crew, Mick Gillick Ramor Watersports, club treasurer.