Donegal Civil Defence – All Ireland Fleadh 2013

September 27, 2013

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Donegal Civil Defence – All Ireland Fleadh 2013

The All Ireland Fleadh 2013 was opened on the 18th August by President Michael D Higgins – the first time any Irish President had attended. It was the first time the world’s biggest celebration of Irish culture had been held north of the border and the huge numbers in attendance have made it the most successful Fleadh in its 63 year history. Over 430,000 people are estimated to have visited Derryfor the All-Ireland Fleadh. The diverse programme of events included participation from the Police Service of Northern Ireland pipe band as well as Jonathan Burgess’ play The Pride about a loyalist band.

The eight-day event was brought to a close with a spectacular ceremony at Ebrington Square, Waterside on Sunday night, with around 9,000 people believed to be in attendance. The closing party included an aerial spectacular with musicians and dancers from Fidget Feet suspended in the air above Ebrington Square.
Donegal Civil Defence received an invitation to assist the event with the provision of first aiders for the duration of the closing weekend 23rd – 25th August. This was the first time ever for Donegal Civil Defence to work on a planned cross – border duty within the 6 counties of Northern Ireland. Over the course of the 3 days, Donegal Civil Defence provided first aid alongside other service providers, namely, The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, North West Community Ambulance Service, Irish Red Cross, Derry City Council Staff and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

For the purposes of the Fleadh the competition centered around the areas of the Guildhall Square, Shipquay Street, Waterloo Place, Waterloo Street, Ferryquay Street bordered by the City Walls. These areas were divided into zones and 10 first aiders, 1 EMT and 1 Paramedic was allocated a zone to work in. These zones were supported by Stewards, PSNI, Ambulance Service, Radio Communications and CCTV operated by Derry City Council. Over the duration of the 3 days Civil Defence assisted in the treatment of 48 minor casualties.
Working at the Fleadh has allowed Donegal Civil Defence to engage with a huge number of people, many of them first time visitors to the city and to Northern Ireland. The unit received a wonderful and enthusiastic welcome. Civil Defence is confident that the vast majority of people have left with positive memories of the service provided and the welcome received. Donegal Civil Defence are delighted to have played a part in the event’s success, in what was an unbelievable experience for the city and for the unit.