The Transport Minister has been called on to give a clear timeline for the restoration of full rescue services in Kilkee.
The unit has been resricted to shoreline searches following the death of Caitriona Lucas in Kilkee in 2016 and Minister Shane Ross has told the Dáil that it won’t be fully restored until a training and recertification process is complete.
Clare FM’s Fiona McGarry Reports:
The Kilkee unit of the Irish Coast Guard was stood down for nine months from September 2016 following the tragic death of Caitríona Lucas, the longest inactive period since the local marine rescue service was established in the eighties.
The unit has since been restored, but with restrictions. It can now only carry out shoreline and inshore boat searches.
With the summer season fast approaching, the matter has been raised in the Dáil by Clare’s Independent TD Michael Harty, who says it deters fishermen and tourists from entering the water.
Transport Minister Shane Ross says the full service won’t be restored until all training is completed and he’s downplayed safety concerns.
But Deputy Michael Harty has said that providing only shore-based activity is not sufficient to supply a rescue service in a seaside resort like Kilkee.
And he’s criticised the Minister’s comments on other services covering the area.
Now Minister Ross is being urged to outline a clear timeline for when services will be restored.
Kilkee Tourism Consultant Cillian Murphy says there needs to be an end to the uncertainty surrounding the service.