Merger of Kilkee Marine Rescue and Irish Coast Guard will safeguard local unit – BREEN.

May 30th, 2013 - Pat Breen

kilkee-ircg-1Clare Deputy and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen T.D., has welcomed the formal merger of the Kilkee Marine Rescue and the Irish Coast Guard (IRCG), saying the local unit will benefit significantly by joining forces with the nationwide emergency service. Deputy Breen will address an event this evening (Wednesday) in Kilkee being held to mark the merger.

“I have been actively involved in facilitating meetings between the Kilkee Unit and the IRCG aimed at bringing about this amalgamation. After four or five years of negotiations, I am delighted the merger is finally coming about, and I am confident it will safeguard the future of the local rescue service.

“The Kilkee Marine Service is very highly regarded by local people in Co Clare. Since it was first established 32 years ago 600 lives have been saved and 70 lost souls have been recovered. This incredible service has been kept going thanks to the hard work and determination of volunteers and the generosity of local people who have funded its running costs.

“Thanks to the merger, the IRCG, which is a division of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, will assume responsibility for the Kilkee Unit, meaning the local service will no longer be under constant pressure to fundraise.

“As well as the obvious financial benefits, the Kilkee Unit also stands to gain in a number of ways as a result of this amalgamation. The Coast Guard will bring new training techniques to the Kilkee Unit, as well as access to new vessels and transport. Significantly, there will be an immediate investment of €250,000 in the local unit, which will allow for major improvements to be made and for communications equipment to be upgraded. The Station House will also be upgraded.

“Kilkee Marine Rescue plays an incredibly important role in the local community. As a coastal town, Kilkee is a hugely popular destination for water activities for local people and tourists alike. The trained crews of the local marine service, who are on standby 24/7, 365 days a year, have been at the forefront of keeping these waters safe and responding to all emergency situations down through the years.

“This merger will provide certainty on the delivery of the rescue service in Kilkee going forward, by ensuring resources are maximised. I would like to pay tribute to the Kilkee rescue crews and to the local community who have generously funded this service for the last 32 years through voluntary contributions. Their generosity is finally being rewarded through the safeguarding of this wonderful service.”