Written answers

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Coast Guard Service

Photo of Violet WynneViolet Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein)
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209. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will report on the situation at the Doolin Coast Guard station; the timeline for the Doolin unit to resume service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62655/21]

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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I have asked the Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) to begin the process of reconstituting the Doolin Coast Guard unit which was stood down from operations and training activities on Nov 1stlast following a number of volunteer resignations.

The decision was made following receipt of a report and recommendation from independent mediator, Mr Kieran Mulvey, who concluded that certain relationships within the Doolin Coast Guard Unit have irretrievably broken down and that the mutual trust, respect and confidence required to effectively operate a Coast Guard Unit does not exist within the Unit.

The report concludes that the interpersonal difficulties are not capable of being resolved through the normal mediation process.

In accordance with the recommendations of Mr. Mulvey’s Report, members of the Doolin Unit will be permanently stood down. The unit will be re-constituted in the short term by temporarily appointing volunteers who Coast Guard believe can work and operate together. This will address the situation presented by the absence of a functioning Doolin Coast Guard Unit.

A broader appointment process will commence with a view to permanently restoring the Coast Guard Unit in the Doolin area.

I understand that this is a difficult decision and outcome for all concerned. Inaction on the matter is not an option where there is a situation that a person may find themselves in trouble on or near the water into the future and require the assistance of a locally-based Coast Guard Unit. The provision of a robust and fully operational Coast Guard Unit to the Doolin area is the priority.

A number of further recommendations in the report will also be implemented including further engagement with volunteers and a review of procedures affecting the unit around training, operations, equipment and activities.

I also support the work of the Coast Guard Representative Group, the Coastal Unit Advisory Group (CUAG) which represents volunteers interests within the Coast Guard. To enhance CUAGs role as a representative body for volunteers a review of CUAGs existing Terms of Reference and grievance procedures within the Irish Coast Guard will be carried out.

Photo of Violet WynneViolet Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein)
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210. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps that have been taken by his Department to resolve the issues at the Doolin Coast Guard unit; if an independent mediator has been appointed; the stage of the arbitration process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62656/21]

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I have asked the Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) to begin the process of reconstituting the Doolin Coast Guard unit which was stood down from operations and training activities on Nov 1stlast following a number of volunteer resignations.

The decision was made following receipt of a report and recommendation from independent mediator, Mr Kieran Mulvey, who found that certain relationships within the Doolin Coast Guard Unit have irretrievably broken down and that the mutual trust, respect and confidence required to effectively operate a Coast Guard Unit does not exist within the Unit.

The report concludes that the interpersonal difficulties are not capable of being resolved through the normal mediation process.

In accordance with the recommendations of Mr. Mulvey’s Report, members of the Doolin Unit will be permanently stood down. The Unit will be re-constituted in the short term by temporarily appointing volunteers who Coast Guard believe can work and operate together. This will address the situation presented by the absence of a functioning Doolin Coast Guard Unit.

A broader appointment process will commence to permanently restore the Coast Guard Unit in the Doolin area.

I understand that this is a difficult decision and outcome for all concerned. The provision of a robust and fully operational Coast Guard Unit to the Doolin area is the priority concern.

A number of further recommendations in the report will also be implemented including further engagement with volunteers and a review of procedures affecting the unit around training, operations, equipment and activities.

I also support the work of the Coast Guard Representative Group, the Coastal Unit Advisory Group (CUAG) which represents volunteers interests within the Coast Guard. To enhance CUAGs role as a representative body for volunteers a review of CUAGs existing Terms of Reference and grievance procedures within the Irish Coast Guard will be carried out.

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