Civil Defence operates on a partnership basis between the Department of Defence and the local authorities. Civil Defence policy is set down by the Minister for Defence through the Civil Defence Branch of the Department of Defence and Civil Defence services are delivered at local level by the relevant Local Authority.
The 2015 White Paper on Defence states that it is the responsibility of each Local Authority to provide suitable accommodation for their Civil Defence Unit. Most Local Authorities have provided high quality accommodation for their Units. For example, I recently had the pleasure of opening a new headquarters for Clare Civil Defence in Ennis. I note that both Meath and Monaghan County Councils have recently completed major new building projects for their Civil Defence Units. The Department of Defence provided some funding for each of these projects and, subject to budgetary constraints, is willing to support similar projects in other local authority areas.
I am aware that further improvements in accommodation for Civil Defence units are required in a small number of Local Authorities. Officials in the Department of Defence are in contact with a number of Local Authorities in this regard. While the Department of Defence is willing to assist, the provision of suitable accommodation for Civil Defence Units is ultimately a matter for each Local Authority.