Ministers Turn Sod On New Coast Guard Station in Waterford in €5m Investment
Minister with special responsibility for the Irish Coast Guard, Hildegarde Naughton, and Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW), Patrick O’Donovan, “turned the sod” for the construction of a new Coast Guard Station at Bunmahon, Co Waterford.
Minister Naughton said, “it is essential that we have Coast Guard stations, vehicles and equipment that are fit for purpose. The Irish Coast Guard provides a critical service for Irish people saving life at sea and protecting the marine environment. The service is delivered by almost 1000 volunteers operating out of 44 Coast Guard stations along the coast of Ireland. The commitment and dedication of our volunteers is second to none. I am absolutely committed to supporting their work through the delivery of modern and safe facilities here in Waterford; a fact clearly demonstrable in our investment of €5.3 million here today. Today is a special day for our volunteers, the Irish Coast Guard and those enjoying Waterford’s beautiful coastline in the many years ahead.”
The Minister paid tribute to the members of the Bunmahon Unit, “the Bunmahon Coast Guard unit is a key resource for the Irish Coast Guard in delivering it’s search and rescue mission in the Waterford area. The unit has shoreline and cliff rescue capabilities and works closely with its flank units at Ardmore and Tramore. The Waterford team here has responded to many search and cliff rescue emergencies down through the years, both maritime and inland, in rural communities and in the larger townlands of Tramore and Dungarvan. The unit has also assisted other Principal Emergency Services – An Garda Siochana, National Ambulance Service and Fire Service.”
Minister O’Donovan said, “the OPW is delighted to assist in the design and construction of this new purpose built premises in Bunmahon for the Irish Coast Guard Service. These new facilities, once completed, will provide improved accommodation and adequate vehicle storage to help the local volunteers to continue providing this very valuable service to the many communities along the south east coast.”
The Department of Transport is responsible for the Coast Guard building programme, which aims to ensure that Coast Guard Units along the coast are fit for purpose. The programme is managed through the OPW, from planning and design to build and on-going maintenance.
The new Coast Guard Station will provide vastly superior modern facilities for the eighteen volunteers who operate from the Bunmahon Unit. The new Coast Guard station will provide for vehicle storage, shower, WC and changing facilities, an Operations/training room, kitchen and office space.
The OPW has worked closely with the Coast Guard to identify a suitable site for the new Coast Guard Station and will manage the construction work which will take approximately 12 months to complete.