A North Clare Councillor is calling for Irish Coast Guard services to be decentralised and managed locally after a decision by the body to take its Doolin unit ‘off the board’.
Voluntary members of the unit are no longer allowed to respond to emergencies following a decision taken yesterday.
The Doolin unit has long been recognised as one of the top Irish Coast Guard teams in the country with highly trained and dedicated members qualified in a multitude of competencies.
News emerged yesterday that the Doolin Unit of the Irish Coast Guard was stood down after six volunteers there resigned, including the unit’s Officer in Charge.
Those members are believed to have 100 years’ experience of service between them.
That left the unit with just 11 members and the Coast Guard decided to suspend the service.
The decision has provoked outcry across the county, particularly in North Clare, with one local Councillor fearing previous issues in the body have taken years to solve.
Ennistymon-based Fianna Fail Councillor Shane Talty says the situation is urgent and needs to be resolved imminently.
In a statement, the Irish Coast Guard says it acknowledges ‘the divisions that have unfortunately existed within the [Doolin] unit for a number of years’.
The body says it will continue to offer support to ‘all those affected’ by this event, and aim to strengthen the unit’s management structure.
One local representative believes that management structure should be decentralised, with Doolin’s unit being directly operated from this county.
Lisdoonvarna-based Fine Gael Councillor Joe Garrihy claims the current situation is an indication of a failure at management level.
The Irish Coast Guard says it intends to return the unit to operational readiness as quickly as practicable.