Murphy O’Mahony meets with Irish Coast Guard to listen to their concerns

Cork South West TD, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said that the Irish Coast Guard needs to be put on a statutory basis as it is the only ‘blue light’ service in the State without statutory backing.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony was commenting after meeting with representatives of the Irish Coast Guard along with her Fianna Fáil parliamentary colleagues.

“In coastal areas, such as those found in West Cork, the Irish Coast Guard, supported by various RNLI units, provide a safety net for fishing communities, both commercial and recreational, and deserve the protections that come with being placed on a statutory basis.”

“During a recent parliamentary debate, the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross confirmed to the house that there were no plans to diminish Irish Coast Guard services or reduce the number of active stations in operation.”

“This is a very welcome announcement, and one that will greatly relieve the concern being felt among service members and the communities they serve,” added the Fianna Fáil Deputy.

“Every year, 160 lives are saved through the actions of the Irish Coast Guard. The State needs to put the service on a statutory basis, and treat it like other services such as the National Ambulance Service, the Fire Service or An Garda Síochána.”

“Fianna Fáil will be bringing forward legislation in the coming months to do what is needed to protect the Irish Coast Guard. As a TD for a constituency that relies so much, I will ensure that it is given the priority it needs and deserves,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.