Written Answers. - Defence Forces Emergency Assistance.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

33 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the circumstances whereby the Defence Forces are available to assist the civil authorities in the event of a major accident or emergency; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The Defence Forces render assistance to the civil authorities in emergency situations subject to operational commitments and available resources. Procedures are laid down whereby the civil authorities may call on the Defence Forces to provide assistance in emergencies such as accidents, blizzards, fires, flooding and spillage of dangerous substances. The Defence Forces make every effort to respond positively to any request for assistance received.

The Defence Forces have also provided assistance from time to time to the civil authorities to maintain essential supplies and services interrupted as a result of industrial disputes.

Since January, 1992 the Defence Forces have provided assistance in the following cases:

(a) Search of Lough Derravaragh (missing person),

(b) Assistance to the Bosnian Refugees,
(c) Assistance to homeless men (Grangegorman Centre).