History of Athlone Sub-Aqua Club
Athlone Sub Aqua Club's foundation was laid in 1971/1972 when a few people who had been diving for a number of years previously, placed a local newspaper advertisement to check if there were any others interested in pursuing the sport. They got a huge response. Within weeks the club had its first 27 members. Roy Redpath was appointed the clubs first Diving Officer and as such was responsible for overseeing the training of all these founding members in Ballinasloe swimming pool, the River Shannon and local lakes. We still have one of the earliest members, Derry McMahon still diving with us today!
Initially the club sat up base in the offices of the old Weirside Mills. Club meetings were held in the Jolly Mariner and lectures for trainee divers over Seans bar. In 1975 the club purchased the M.V. Tigh na Mara a former steel lifeboat which was constructed in the early part of the twentieth century. Having run aground on Lough Derg in the winter of 1974 the club decided the following year to salvage and restore her to serve as the clubs headquarters for many years. In 1999, due to its expanding needs, the club decided to depart the 'Tiny', as she became affectionately known, and invest in a purpose built clubhouse. Construction of this clubhouse was completed in 2000. This facility, which is located at Brick Island, Coosan Road, Athlone consists of a meeting room, training room, storage area, changing rooms and showers. A slipway is located on the clubhouse site to facilitate access to the River Shannon.
In 1993 the then Public Relations Officer John Rattigan produced Athlone Sub-Aqua Club 1972 - 1993 - 21 Years. This gives us a great insight of the early years of the club and was the first time the history of the club was put onto paper.