Papal Visit & Modern Communications

12 September 2018

Civil Defence utilises modern communications to support Principal Response Agencies

The integration of expertly trained volunteers and modern communications infrastructure allowed Civil Defence units in both Dublin and Mayo to deliver a professional service to the National Ambulance Service, An Garda Siochana, local authority and event coordinators during the Papal visit. This support is in line with the 2015 Government White Paper on Defence that sets out the role of Civil Defence.

Both Mayo and Dublin Civil Defence units were supported by volunteers from counties Donegal, Sligo, Roscommon, Galway, Laois, Wexford, Wicklow, Clare, Cork, Kildare, Limerick, Meath, Monaghan, Cavan, Louth and Offaly. All of these volunteers gave freely of their time.

The TETRA communications network provided links between the National Ambulance Service, An Garda Siochana and Civil Defence. Civil Defence tracking technology and mapping software was used to dispatch the best placed Civil Defence resources to any request for assistance.

Civil Defence provided and operated 250 radio sets over five separate Civil Defence controlled radio nets. Civil Defence provided medical cover to the Red Route. In total, Civil Defence had 300 medical personnel on duty along the Red Route and in the Phoenix Park.

Civil Defence also facilitated a request from An Garda Siochana for aerial imagery. This included the provision of two tethered aircraft that remained on call throughout the Papal visit. These tethered systems were operated by volunteers from Cork, Galway and Dublin.





Adam Cahill (left) from Meath Civil Defence working in the dispatch centre.









Civil Defence Tethered aircraft system








Civil Defence standard Small Unmanned Aircraft






Cork volunteers assisting at the Papal Parade in O’Connell Street from left to right – Aidan Coughlan, Liam F O’Regan and Jacqueline Holland