The Irish Coast Guard has taken part in only 18 approved missions during the Covid-19 crisis, despite many frontline services being under enormous pressure to assist communities.
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Defence Aengus Ó Snodaigh has called on the Ministers for Transport, Tourism & Sport and Defence and their Departments to utilise the full capacity of the Irish Coast Guard, Irish Civil Defence and other blue light and voluntary organisations during the Covid-19 crisis and over this bank holiday weekend to help relieve pressure on frontline services and workers.
Teachta Ó Snodaigh said;
“It is quite clear to me from questions I have put to both Ministers on the activities of the Irish Coast Guard and the Irish Civil Defence that we could be using both of them along with other State and voluntary agencies in a much more useful, busier and effective manner during this public health crisis.
“Members of both organisations have contact me privately and outlined that their teams are ready and available to assist frontline services and communities across the State but simply are not receiving missions to do so.
“This situation bizarre to say the least. Their expertise, training and capabilities must be put to the best use possible.
“I am calling on both Ministers and their Department officials to convene a meeting of all organisations to formulate a plan that will allow these highly skilled individuals put their efforts to maximum use.”