LAST’s Aims

Tragedy and inconsolable death are an all too regular occurrence for our seafaring communities.
Whilst the fishermen who brave our Atlantic seas bear the risks with equanimity it is often the bereaved neighbours, friends and of course the families who are left to mourn the price that the sea demands from its harvesters. LAST has arisen from such a tragedy and its aims are:

  • To actively promote safety at sea for our fishing men and women
  • To provide support for bereaved communities
  • To fundraise on an ongoing basis
  • To promote & campaign for the preservation of our fishing heritage
  • To provide a structured ready-made vehicle to allow bereaved communities to support their neighbours at their time of need, firstly at the time of the event itself and thereafter in organising fundraising
  • To fundraise on an ongoing basis to ensure that sufficient funds are available at the instance of a tragedy, i.e. to be able to provide assistance such as media relations, liaison services, counselling, support to search and rescue staff, etc.

We are here to help in any way practicable, and welcome the contributions of all.

Our Mission

Poverty and debt are facts of life in our fishing communities. At best, fishing can be a precarious business. Success depends on a host of factors from the weather to fluctuating fish prices to ever tightening quotas. Worst hit have been the men of the inshore fleet. Many barely scrape a living.

Many are in serious debt. Debt and poverty can lead to homelessness, marital breakdown, alcohol abuse and depression. Problems are made worse by the prevalence of injury and ill-health among working fishermen. Chronic ill-health and debt are also serious problems for ex-fishermen and their families.

Retired fishermen are more likely than any other occupational group to be living in poverty. Our aim is to provide a network in all the coastal communities around Ireland offering financial, practical and emotional support, including bereavement counselling to the families of fishermen lost at sea.

Providing a wide range of welfare services to active fishermen and their families, including debt and relationship counselling, accessing addiction support and help with medical care.

Obtaining financial assistance and providing debt counselling and other forms of support for the elderly and infirm. Combating loneliness amongst the elderly through a programme of home visits and group activities

Our Founder

LAST (Lost at Sea Tragedies) was founded by Mr Noel Mc Donagh of Dunmore East, Co Waterford in 2013. Noel started his career as a fisherman, and continued until he retired ashore to open another successful business. Noel had seen many tragedies, losing family and friends. It was after the tragedy of the three Bolger Brothers in 2013, that he decided help was needed for the grieving families.

Noel set about starting the charity LAST. The aim of the charity was and is to help families emotionally and financially in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy. The charity was also set up to promote safety at sea and raising awareness in the fishing community.

Noel handed the Charity over to new Trustees in the fishing community in 2017, but remains on as a lifetime honorary president. Noel is and remains a credit to the Irish fishing community for all his charity work and his knowledge of the fishing industry

Our Patrons

The compassion and commitment of our Patrons is what makes it possible for LAST to continue its work of supporting fishing communities in their times of tragedy.

Patrons are vital to helping LAST to keep on positively helping the men and women who face poverty and debt in this precarious business. Each of our Patrons is extremely important to us and they are essential for our continued existence.

TA Sheehan & Co
The Skipper