Written answers

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Photo of Denise MitchellDenise Mitchell (Dublin Bay North, Sinn Fein)
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91. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the Civil Defence has ceased the practice of transporting elderly persons to hospital appointments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57792/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The Department of Defence is responsible for the development of Civil Defence at national level. In this context my Department provides policy direction, centralised training through the Civil Defence College, administrative support, guidance and centralised procurement of certain items of uniform and equipment in support of local authority Civil Defence efforts.

The local authorities have operational responsibility for Civil Defence. There is a Civil Defence Unit in each local authority area. Civil Defence services are delivered through the Civil Defence Officer (CDO) of the relevant Local Authority for that area and the CDO is a full time employee of the local authority.

The decision of a Civil Defence Unit to provide or to discontinue a particular service is ultimately a matter for each local authority. The Minister for Defence has no role in the day to day management of local Civil Defence Units.

Notwithstanding the above, I understand that, given the current heightened public health concerns, the Department of Housing have recently requested the Local Authorities ensure that Community Call helpline numbers are open so that, if there are people in need of support, they can access help locally.


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