A message from Paul Kehoe TD, Minister with Responsibility for Defence

21 December 2018

As the year comes to a close I want to send Christmas greetings to all those involved in Civil Defence, both volunteers and Civil Defence Officers. Civil Defence had another very busy year. Storm Emma in March affected almost every part of the country. Civil Defence volunteers did fantastic work in supporting the Health Service, the local authorities and the Gardai. You helped keep hospitals running by transporting patients, staff and urgent medical supplies. Your 4 x 4 vehicles proved invaluable getting to places where normal road ambulances and Gardai vehicles could not reach.  Your ability to use drone technology proved crucial during emergency situations.

The other major deployment during the year was during the Papal visit in August. Hundreds of Civil Defence volunteers assisted both in Knock and in the Phoenix Park. This was all in addition to the regular call outs e.g. to assist in missing persons searches as well as the hundreds of community, local authority, sporting and charitable events that Civil Defence supported throughout the year.

As an organisation, Civil Defence will continue to change, particularly in light of recent developments in technology.

It was a privilege for me to meet many of you and discuss these challenges and opportunities at a number of the consultation meetings launched in October.

I want to thank you for your dedication to this important work as well as the commitment shown to your training. This ensures that Civil Defence volunteers operate to a professional standard.

On behalf of the Government, I wish you and all your families a very happy and peaceful Christmas.