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Malin unites to save coastguard station 16.01.08

by Damian Dowds, Inishowen Independent

THE MALIN Head Community Association is to launch a petition calling on the Government to retain and upgrade the Malin Head Coastguard Station.
Association chairwoman Cathy O’Donnell said that local politicians and community leaders will be invited to a public meeting at Malin Head hall on Sunday, January 27, when the petition will be launched.
“This is a vital service to Malin and the entire North West and we’re looking to step up our campaign to make sure it’s maintained,” Ms O’Donnell said. “Joe McHugh has already spoken in favour of maintaining the station, and we’ll be calling on other public representatives such as Dr. Jim McDaid, Niall Blaney and Cecilia Keaveney to get behind us as well.
Malin Head Coastguard Station. “This is an island nation and having two radio stations in rural areas, one at Valentia and one at Malin, makes sense,” said Andrew Ward of the new Inishowen cohesion group. “If jobs like this are taken out of Malin Head then what will they be replaced with?
“We have an international obligation to provide this 
service and it can best be delivered from Malin Head,” he continued. “It is staffed by people who understand the sea and it has been done safely and successfully from here for generations.”
Local fishermen have expressed concern at the plans to scale back the Coastguard presence at Malin Head, relocating it to a central office in Dundalk and a station at an as yet unidentified location on the west coast.
“Malin Head station isn’t just a location,” a source close to the fishing community said. “Several of the staff have fished the waters from Galway to Malin and their local knowledge is unsurpassed. That knowledge cannot be learned from books or by looking at a map and it would be lost if the station is relocated.”
The petition reads: ”We, the undersigned, call on the Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey to retain and upgrade Malin Head Coastguard Radio Station as a fully manned marine rescue centre.”
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