David Carroll, author of Dauntless Courage was brought up in Dunmore East, where his father Captain Desmond Carroll was the Harbour Master from 1947 until 1969.
David’s passion for lifeboats stems from that time. His father operated the shore radio transmitter, located in the old pilot station on Shanoon, whenever the Annie Blanche Smith lifeboat put to sea. His mother, Freda, always volunteered with a collection box for the RNLI on Regatta Day and made sure that the support of all visiting yachts crews to the harbour was called upon.
To this day, David can still recall from his youth, the dramatic excitement and sense of nervous apprehension that gripped the entire village when two maroon rockets were fired to alert the crew of the lifeboat. A crowd would gather at the wall overlooking the harbour to watch as the lifeboat put to sea, anxiously wondering who was in distress and would they be successfully rescued and brought safely back to the harbour.
Despite living in Dublin since 1969, David has not forgotten his roots and has retained a deep interest in the maritime life of Dunmore East. In recent years he has contributed several blogs to Andrew Doherty’s popular Waterford Harbour Tides and Tales.
Requesting archival material from the Dunmore East Lifeboat Station to research the part played by the Fanny Harriet in the rescue of the survivors of the schooner Mexico and the Fethard lifeboat Helen Blake in 1914, brought his interest to the attention of Brendan Dunne. Arising from subsequent conversations, the idea of researching and writing a comprehensive history of the Dunmore East lifeboats came about. Dauntless Courage has been the outcome.