Minister for Disabilities and Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Anne Rabbitte TD, has received confirmation that a new site for the Lough Derg Coast Guard is in the pipeline with two options currently being looked into.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) has confirmed to Minister Rabbitte that they are currently at the early stages of the potential acquisition of a site in Killaloe for the Irish Coast Guard. OPW were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to seek a new site for operation based in Killaloe. The existing location has been deemed not suitable for their long-term requirements.  

Minister Rabbitte said:

It’s great to finally see some movement on a new site for the Coast Guard in Killaloe. It plays a key role in keeping those on Lough Derg safe, including the likes of Portumna and Terryglass. Whether on the old site or a new location, the Coast Guard needs to be operating from an adequate and modern base. We need to ensure people have the facilities to keep everyone on Lough Derg safe.

I’ve been told that OPW are in regular contact with the Coast Guard with a view to assisting with the provision of cost estimates and developing proposals for the next round of priority projects. Once the current prioritised projects are underway, the OPW will then be better placed to progress the Killaloe station.

This is particularly important update to receive in light of the ongoing heat wave, which is attracting an increased number of people onto Lough Derg. It’s also very timely when we see how busy the various the Irish Coast Guard units are along the lake. Only last weekend, the Killaloe and Kilkee units had to respond to two incidents in the same area in less than 24 hours.

We’ve known since November 2020 that a structural assessment of the existing building at Killaloe confirmed that the building may require substantial intervention or possible demolition but that the site itself is in an excellent location to meet the Coast Guard’s requirements. I’ve been told that further assessment of this potential building and site is ongoing, in addition to the potential new site.

Minister Rabbitte concluded:

 I’m in close contact with the Minister for OPW, Patrick O’Donovan, on this and he recognises the need and is supportive of advancing this project in a timely manner. I look forward to working with him further on this over the coming months.

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