Last wish of dying man is to donate £60,000 to lifesaving N.I. charity

This photograph was taken before the death of John Bradley who donated 60,000 to local R.N.L.I.s. (Photo: Bangor R.N.L.I./Facebook)
This photograph was taken before the death of John Bradley who donated 60,000 to local R.N.L.I.s. (Photo: Bangor R.N.L.I./Facebook)
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A man with strong connections to Northern Ireland donated £60,000 to Bangor and Donaghadee Royal National Lifeboat Institution (R.N.L.I.) shortly before be passed away recently.

John Bradley, 81, died in the U.S.A. on July 1, 2019 but grew up and worked for many years in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone.

Mr. Bradley was born in Finchley, London but moved to his family farm in Northern Ireland where he worked as a dairy farmer and rebuilt his family home which had been in his family since the late 1800s.

Mr. Bradley donated $74,000 (£60,000) to the N.I. based lifeboat charity and gifted a further $5,000 (£4,000)) to Tower Lifeboat Station in London from his deathbed in America.

"In America we have the Coast Guard which rescue people and ships who get into trouble on the high seas," said Mr. Bradley shortly before his death.

"The U.S. Coast Guard is fully paid for by the government, but the R.N.L.I. needs donations.

"We are pleased to give enough money so that equipment can be purchased," said Mr. Bradley.

Peter Irwin, Donaghadee R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Operations Manager said the station was overwhelmed by the generosity of the late Mr. Bradley and his wife, Sally Sue.

"What a lovely story this is, albeit a poignant one now at John’s recent death.

"To think a couple who met as pen pals, married here but then moved to America but continued to share a passion for the R.N.L.I. and the charity’s work, would think of us in this way and so generously, is incredible.

"These funds will go towards funding vital kit for our volunteers. They will also provide us with the essential training our crews need when they respond to their pagers and go to the aid of someone in difficulty at sea.

"We are so grateful and would like to sincerely thank Sally Sue and John, and remember John for his amazing support of the R.N.L.I.

"We are saddened to hear of John’s death and extend our sympathies to Sally Sue and the Bradley family," added Mr. Irwin.

Kevin Byers, Bangor R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Operations Manager echoed the sentiment adding:

"We took this picture (see above) of some of the Bangor and Donaghadee volunteers before we heard about John’s passing to thank the couple for their generosity and to wish them a happy July 4.

"We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Sally Sue on her loss. What an incredible legacy John has left."