“Enhancing reputations – Increasing exposure”
Friday October 21st 2016



SPEECH Clare Civil Defence Training Weekend



“Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to join you in Tralee this evening.

As Mayor of Clare I have learned a great deal about the work of Clare Civil Defence and the sacrifices made by members and volunteers to ensure the safety of members of the public.

I know from speaking to fellow Councillors and other colleagues throughout the country that Clare Civil Defence is held in very high regard.

The leadership shown by Liam Griffin has contributed greatly to this growing reputation, but it is of course the contributions of the many members and volunteers that has helped underline the extremely important and valuable role played by the Civil Defence.

It is important this evening that I express my appreciation and the appreciation of the people of Clare of the role of all statutory bodies, volunteer organisations and individuals who contribute to emergency response efforts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Looking specifically at Clare Civil Defence, its duties are wide ranging but extremely important.

They include responding to major emergencies, flooding, forest fires, environmental problems; stewarding, and participating in river, lake and coastal area search and recovery efforts.

I am delighted to see that efforts are made on a ongoing basis to further enhance the ability of Civil Defence members to respond to various incidents.

Your participation in National Exercises and, of course, this weekend’s exercise will greater enable your collective ability to respond more efficiently to incidents when they occur.

Constant upskilling and training is key to most lines of work, but it is especially important in the case of Civil Defence personnel, and all emergency services and response teams.

As my term as Mayor of Clare draws to a close, I can safely say that one of my most outstanding memories from the past 12 months has been the contribution made by members of Clare Civil Defence to the flood recovery efforts throughout Clare last November.

Civil Defence members gave selflessly of their time and put their own lives at risk for the sake of others.

Members worked around the clock to ensure that the threat posed by the flood waters to property and indeed to life was minimised.

It really was an unprecedented and major emergency for all emergency services personnel in the County.

The collaborative emergency response was a tribute to everyone who took part.

This was recognised by President Mary McAleese who visited County Clare to meet with some of those involved.

The response of emergency services and local authority staff to the flooding and big freeze has also been officially recognised by Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gormley.

Of course, the severe flooding was followed by an extended period of cold weather which again saw the Civil Defence out and about to help ensure the safety of pedestrians and motorists on roads and footpaths affected by snow and ice.

Over 1,200 man-hours were worked by Clare Civil Defence during the period from late November to mid-January.

The two periods of extreme conditions certainly tested the ability of the Civil Defence and its loyal volunteers to respond to major crisis.

Your response was exemplary and I would like to congratulate each and every one of you.

I also know that the public is very aware and appreciative of your efforts during these crisis.

Your efforts have certainly raised the profile of Clare Civil Defence and have strengthened your reputation.

I would like to thank Liam Griffin for inviting me to join you all this evening.

Comhgairdeas libh agus go n’eiri libh go léir.

Thank you.”