Gardaí have questioned a young man following reports that someone dressed as Santa Claus was collecting money last weekend in Bundoran, allegedly claiming that he was doing so on behalf of the RNLI.
A garda spokesperson in Ballyshannon confirmed that a minor was questioned last night and said “the matter has been satisfactorily resolved”.
Shane Smyth, PRO for Bundoran RNLI, said: “We became aware of this on Sunday evening, that a person dressed as Santa called to a house in the West End, claiming to be collecting for us. The person whose house he called to is familiar with our crew and didn’t give him any money. He then got on to one of our crew members who immediately called the guards.
“It’s since come to light, once we started getting the word out on Facebook, that apparently this person has been around since Friday evening.”
Mr Smyth said that no RNLI collections are currently being carried out, although tickets will go on sale shortly for the annual dinner dance in February.
Those tickets will be sold by crew members and volunteers, who are generally very well known in the area, he added.
Whenever official collections are being taken up, crew members and volunteers where clearly recognisable RNLI clothing and carry RNLI branded buckets.
Mr Smyth concluded: “The RNLI is a very respected and trusted organisation in the area and we are constantly relying on the generosity of locals to keep the service funded year round so that we can save lives at sea. An incident such as this is particularly unhelpful and we would ask people continue to be vigilant.”
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