In memory of our dear friend and colleague Caitríona, who died tragically whilst on duty as a Coast Guard volunteer.


We wish to convey our deepest sympathy to her husband Bernard Lucas, also a former SARDA member, and to their children Ben and Emma. Caitríona was the secretary of SARDA Ireland for 3 years. She was also a fully qualified search dog handler and assisted with numerous callouts with her search dog Zac. As part of her dedicated professionalism, Caitríona attended many national and international events.


Caitríona was a friend and colleague to our members and those of other SAR teams striving to help people in need. Passionate about search and rescue, she encouraged others and was a tireless example for those training their own dogs or assisting other handlers. She demonstrated a selfless caring attitude towards humans and animals, and as a volunteer she always gave full commitment in all weathers.


She will be sadly missed.


RIP Caitríona Lucas 12/9/16


From Henry Smith, SARDA Ireland chairman

The flower that is our Lily


It is with great sadness that I have to let you all know that a superstar has left us. She will be missed by everyone in SARDA IRELAND. We are sharing this lovely tribute to Lily from Catherine:

Sadly Lily has passed away this evening after a short illness.

Lily was a SARDA dog since 2006 and qualified as a search dog going on the call out list in 2009.  She assisted in numerous searches during her 6 years of service.  She attended training courses in the Lake District, UK as well as numerous training courses in avalanche searching in the Cairngorms of Scotland on the Lake District Search Dogs annual courses held there.  She worked closely with Ballycotton Coastguard Team and Kerry Mountain Rescue Team.  Foremost she was a family member and much loved friend and will be very sorely missed.  She was just 10 years young and achieved so much in those 10 years and I am extremely proud that it was I that was lucky enough to be her handler. 

Lily, forever searching the hills for the toy ( and hopefully it’s a squeaky one ! )

Gettin School’d

Some words I thought I would never say are “I had a great day in school” but yesterday I said those words.
We had the pleasure of spending the day with the kids and staff of St. Joseph’s Primary School in Summerhill, Athlone. What a great day in a great school.
I was joined by what were to become the legendary duo of Gerry and Dexter. We got a mail from Ms. Henry (Paula, top teacher) asking would it be possible to come visit the school as part of their School Improvement Plan (SIP) for Literacy. 20 Steps to Literacy Programme. The month of October was dedicated to Rescue Services.
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Cross Team Training with KMRT

SARDA dog Lily and handler Catherine Kelly took part in a training exercise with Kerry Mountain Rescue Team last night. The scenario involved a search for an injured walker in a wooded area in Glengeenty. The search dog found the missing person about 20 minutes after the search commenced — a great result. The ‘casualty’ was then stretchered to safety from the steep area where he had fallen. Well done to Lily and Catherine! Thanks to KMRT for inviting SARDA to join them on a very useful exercise.


Time to Hang up the Collar

jarleth  Dog hugo2 (2)

After many years of loyal service our beloved Hugo has decide it is time to hang up the collar, put the rescue jacket away and live a well-deserved  life in retirement. Hugo has been with SARDA for the last 8 years. In the last 2 years he has assisted in 10 searches. Hugo not only a star on the hills but also on the big screen with Jarlath playing best support, appeared in a film by Niamh O`Riordan aptly named Rescue Me. In the film it focuses on the relationship between two of the rescue team members, Jarlath and Hugo, and how the bond between man and his dog can ultimately, save a life and anyone who knows the pair will know there is an unbreakable bond between the two. Hugo constantly has one eye on Jarlath waiting for the next command or instruction. Read More