Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Coast Guard Services

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry South, Independent)
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473. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport regarding the radio station on Valentia Island, the position regarding the night shift at the radio station; if there is no threat to the cover that is being provided at night and if the station will continue to operate 24 hours a day; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46750/14]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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In response to the publication of a Value for Money Report into the operation of the Irish Coast Guard in 2012, an examination of the future operation of the 3 Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRSC) in Dublin, Malin and Valentia was undertaken by my Department.  In July 2013 my predecessor announced an Action Plan to further develop the Coast Guard services.  As part of this Plan the Minister announced that the 3 co-ordination centres would remain in place but would be operated on an interoperable basis to achieve important efficiencies and improvements in the delivery of the services.

I can confirm that I have no plans to reduce the services at Valentia MRSC and that it is being maintained on a 24 hour basis.  The staff in the Coast Guard are continuing to develop the services in that Centre and new technologies will be installed there throughout 2015 as well as the implementation of improved working processes.  

The Coast Guard is currently recruiting Watch Officers to bring the staffing complement of Watch Officers in the three centres up to 40, as provided in the Action Plan.  It is expected that some of these Watch Officers will be assigned to Valentia MRSC in due course.


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