Dáil debates

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Coast Guard Service

5:20 pm

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I hear the concerns of the Deputies. We are endeavouring to address these issues.

As regards the terms of reference of the coastal advisory group, the purpose of the coastal advisory group is to provide a structured method of consultation and communication between the Irish Coast Guard and volunteer members. It recognises a key role that the volunteers play in delivering search and rescue in Ireland. As such, it provides the volunteers with that formal opportunity to contribute, and to consult and liaise on matters impacting on the performance of search and rescue activities in which the volunteers are engaged. It is for that reason that I have contacted them in order to meet them. I hope to do that shortly regarding these issues.

I reiterate that the Coast Guard and my Department will continue to offer support to all those affected by this event in Doolin with the aim of strengthening the unit's management structure and providing relevant training and mediation services as may be required to resolve the issues within the unit with a view to returning Doolin to operational readiness as quickly as practicable. As advised by my officials, all other Coast Guard units' shoreline and cliff rescue services remain in place. Along with the four search and rescue Coast Guard helicopters, the RNLI, community rescue boats and the Naval Service will continue to assist.

I join the Deputies in praising the great work of our 900 volunteers right across the country who provide an exemplary public service in our time of need. They need to be supported. I look forward to that engagement with the Coastal Unit Advisory Group.


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