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Dempsey makes no decision on Malin Head 15.02.08

A DELEGATION fighting to save Malin Head Coast Guard station said they have received no firm commitment from Minister Noel Dempsey that he will reverse the decision to close the operation.
Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP) chairperson, John McCarter travelled to Dublin on Tuesday along with IDP co-manager Andrew Ward and IDP board member and local marine expert Seamus Bovaird.
Mr. McCarter said the Minister did not commit to keeping Malin Head open as a marine rescue centre.
But he said the Minister admitted to being better informed about the quality of communications and expertise at Malin Head Coast Guard Station following the meeting
"We have had no clarification on the situation but we were able to update Minister Dempsey very clearly on the suitability of Malin Head to be retained as a marine rescue centre. The Minister admitted that he was 
Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP) chairperson, John McCarter.
better informed that he had been up until now and he took onboard the points that we put to him," said Mr. McCarter.
The man who wrote the report saying Malin Head should be discontinued as a marine rescue centre, Assistant Secretary Fearon was also at Tuesday's meeting that was facilitated by Senator Cecilia Keaveney.
She said Minister Dempsey acknowledged that the delegation's defence of Malin Head was well made and he would have their points reviewed.
"He acknowledged that we argued our case rationally and had put effort into the response we had compiled," explained Senator Keaveney.
However, she said the Minister also made it clear he had a serious decision to make.
The Fearon Report recommends one major rescue centre, with a second backup facility. The choice of Drogheda as the location in the east was linked to the decentralisation of part of the Department of the Marine, said Senator Keaveney.
"We made a strong case that went with fact and not pure emotion for the Minister to realise the recent strides forward we have made in Inishowen.
"We placed particular emphasis on the importance of the rescue centre to our county, a county which is so reliant on marine activity but with an infrastructure to support the items identified in the Fearon Report," said Deputy Keaveney.
She added: "Minister Dempsey was left under no illusion that we were confident that we had a location of equal status to all others and therefore we were not looking for special favours but the retention of what we have.
"He undertook to come back to me on the issue once our response had been examined more closely by Assistant Secretary Fearon."
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