Thursday, 8 March 2018

Questions (489)

Michael Healy-Rae


489. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the dismissal of persons from the Irish Coast Guard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11439/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I advised previously in a response to Parliamentary Question No. 1415 of 16 January 2018 as follows:

"A 2012 Value for Money Review for the Coast Guard recommended that Waterville Coast Guard Unit and Knightstown Coast Guard Unit be amalgamated to form a single Unit (Iveragh) for the South Kerry area. The new Unit was formally approved on 30 June 2015. An extensive consultation process was followed in order to assuage concerns raised by existing members. A building was renovated in Waterville as an administrative centre for the new Unit. This building was opened by the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny on 27 March 2017.

Despite numerous requests by the Coast Guard, several members of the now-defunct Waterville Unit refused to enrol in the Iveragh Unit. Following the official opening of the Stationhouse the members in question had further opportunities to enrol which they were not prepared to do. This left the Coast Guard with no option but to reluctantly terminate their membership. The Unit has now completed its establishment and intensive training is ongoing to make it a fully operational Search and Cliff Rescue Unit."

The above merger and the subsequent decisions concerning volunteers is an operational matter for the Coast Guard.