Dáil debates

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Coast Guard Service

5:20 pm

Photo of Joe CareyJoe Carey (Clare, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I attended the inaugural meeting of the Irish Coast Guard Volunteers Representative Association in Kilkee a couple of weeks ago. There were current and former members of the Coast Guard - all volunteers from Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Galway and Clare - and they spoke openly about the challenges they face every day in terms of widespread harassment and bullying within the service.

One has to ask the question of why so many people are leaving the service. Morale is at an all-time low. Volunteers are leaving. They are not being listened to. They are not being engaged with in a proper manner by management on high.

There is need for a root-and-branch review of the Coast Guard service in terms of management and volunteers, and how they work together. The Minister of State must commit to that. The Minister of State also must commit to the appointment of an independent competent person to try to iron out the issues in Doolin and reinstate that vital service that they have delivered so well over many years.


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