Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport

Irish Coast Guard: Discussion

Mr. Eugene Clonan:

The volunteers are highly trained and highly valued within the Coast Guard. I want to put that on record. We have been working with them for the past 30 years and more. The Coast Guard units on the coast have gone from strength to strength but functions have increased. The basis of our operation is the Coast Guard code, which sets out what we expect from volunteers and what volunteers expect from us. Operating in the marine environment is hazardous, particularly in what we ask the volunteers to do. We ask them to go out and rescue people who have got into distress. To enable them to do that job we have a safety management system to keep them safe. None of my people nor any volunteers are sent out to harm themselves. The policies and procedures are in place to protect and keep them safe. In all the training volunteers receive from search and manual handling to cliff work and bolt work, they have to complete a myriad of courses to acquire the qualities-----