Drop Down Menu

Fight on to save Malin Head centre 01.11.07

PRESSURE is mounting on the Government to reverse its decision to close Malin Head Rescue Centre.
Opposition politicians say the centre where 18 people are employed, is arguably the busiest in the country with an average of 400 rescue missions co-ordinated every year.
Staff at the centre - the oldest in Europe - were recently told that national marine rescue services were to be restructured and rescue co-ordination functions at Malin Head and Valentia, Co. Kerry, phased out.
But MEP Jim Higgins believes closing Malin Head would be a bad move.
"On average they mount in the region of 400 rescue missions per annum ranging from injured fishermen to the providing medical services.
"To date this year, 343 rescue missions have taken place.
He urged Minister Noel Dempsey to do "an about-turn" on the decision saying closure would put lives at risk.
Staff believed a decision taken in 2003 left them in line for an upgrade and the appointment of more employees.
They were advised that proposals for upgrading Malin Head and Valentia were to be finalised mid 2005 and in operation by mid 2007.They criticised coast guard management for "lamely" justifying two new planned urban locations - one in Drogheda and another in either Galway or Cork.
A spokesperson said: "Historically Malin Head is the oldest operating radio station in Europe. Why close a station that has operated flawlessly for well over 100 years?
"The closing of these stations would be a major loss of employment to Donegal and Kerry. These jobs employ people from the marine and fishing industry, an industry that has already been hit badly on the jobs front."
Return to > News