Garda Reserves Graduate from Garda College

Sixty-two Garda Reserves have graduated from the Garda College, Templemore, Co. Tipperary this afternoon. The Garda Commissioner Noirin O’ Sullivan attended the graduation ceremony.

The graduates are made up of 21 female and 41 male Garda Reserves, and are of Irish, French, Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian nationalities.  There are currently 1173 Garda Reserves – 1091 fully attested and 82 in training.

Published: 28/11/12
File Pic: Garda Recruits.

Long service medals for Civil Defence volunteers

The Minister of State at the Department of Defence presented new long service medals to almost 300 Civil Defence volunteers on Friday 21st November last, in recognition of 30, 40 and 50 years service in the Civil Defence.

These new medals have been struck to honour decades of voluntary service given by these individuals to their communities. Both serving and retired members of Civil Defence with the appropriate service are eligible for these medals.

At the ceremony in Dublin Castle, Minister of State Paul Kehoe TD stated; “On behalf of the Government I am delighted to be able to honour so many people who have given 30, 40 and even 50 years of service to Civil Defence and to their local community. The modern, professionally trained and equipped organisation that Civil Defence is today would not have been recognisable when our medal recipients first joined up. Civil Defence has never been afraid to change and has continued to thrive with the major transformations that have taken place down through the years. That success is very much to the credit of everybody assembled here today and long may it continue. For its part this Government will continue to ensure that Civil Defence has all of the necessary supports to ensure that it does.”

To view the photo gallery, click here.

Noirin O’ Sullivan appointed as new Garda Commissioner

Nóirín O’Sullivan has been appointed Garda Commissioner. The announcement was made following a competition for the post which was advertised nationally and internationally and run by the Public Appointments Service.

A high level interview panel established by the Public Appointments Service recommended Ms O’ Sullivan as the sole candidate for the role following two rounds of intense interviews.

Ms O’ Sullivan, who was acting as interim Garda Commissioner since March, when Martin Callinan resigned from the post is the first woman to be appointed as Commissioner in An Garda Siochana.

Commissioner O’Sullivan joined An Garda Siochana in the 1980s, working as an undercover officer. She quickly rose up through the ranks, becoming a Detective Superintendent, then a Chief Superintendent in the Garda Technical Bureau before being appointed as Assistant Commissioner for the Western Region, then moving to Human Resources and Crime and Security.

In 2011, Nóirín O’Sullivan became Deputy Commissioner before taking over in an Acting capacity in March this year.

Gardai and UPC sign MOU on Child Abuse Restrictions online

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, T.D., Garda Commissioner, Noirin O’Sullivan and Magnus Ternsjö, CEO of UPC, have announced that UPC is to immediately restrict access to domain names containing child sexual abuse material.

The announcement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between An Garda Síochána and UPC.

Under the MOU, UPC will restrict access to domains or internet addresses containing child sexual abuse material based on a list provided by An Garda Síochána. If a user accesses child sexual abuse material, whether deliberately or mistakenly, access will be restricted and an advisory message will be displayed outlining the reasons why.

UPC is the first major broadband service provider in Ireland to implement such a restriction. An Garda Síochána is actively engaged with a number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on them putting in place a similar restriction. Such discussions can take time because each ISP has unique and significant technical and resource issues to resolve before putting in place the restriction on their system.

Similar blocks are in place by ISPs in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, UK, France and Malta. This approach is endorsed by both Interpol and Europol.
Minister Fitzgerald offered her congratulations to the Commissioner, to the Gardaí and to UPC on this notable achievement. The Minister said that she was aware that the launch of the new initiative resulted from a lot of very hard work on the part of An Garda Siochána and of UPC over a long period of time.

The Minister said that child abuse is a heinous crime and its depiction on the internet compounds the offence. “The close cooperation with law enforcement which was launched today will reduce the amount of child abuse material which will be available on the internet in Ireland. It will also reinforce the message that the viewing or possession of or indeed the trading in child abuse material is simply not acceptable,” commented the Minister.

She commended UPC for being the first company engage in this initiative with the Gardaí and hoped that other companies would follow suit in this very worthy endeavour.

Commissioner O’Sullivan said: “We welcome UPC putting in place this valuable restriction. They have put significant time and resources into this project. Other ISPs have indicated they want to sign-up to a similar restriction and we look forward to signing MOUs with them.

This initiative will play an important role in tackling the use of child sexual abuse material online and dissuade some people from accessing it. However, we fully recognise that others who wish to view, distribute and make this vile material will use different means to access it and spread it online. As such, this restriction is one of a range of measures that An Garda Síochána is using to combat the production, distribution and possession of child sexual abuse material on the Internet.”

UPC Ireland CEO, Magnus Ternsjö said: “The rapid expansion of digital technologies, coupled with the changing needs of consumers, has brought considerable value to our global society, as well as unprecedented challenges. This partnership underlines our commitment to work alongside law enforcers to help raise awareness of uniquely objectionable material while staying safe and fully enjoying the benefits of the online world. We are pleased to work with An Garda Síochána and the Government on this important initiative. The involvement of key stakeholders such as ISPs is a legitimate way forward for the Gardai to deal with such matters.”

According to UPC, it adheres fully to Data Protection legislation and it should be noted that the Memorandum of Understanding does not provide for any transfer of user data to the authorities. The IP address and identity of a person trying to access domains is not stored when the blocking notice appears. UPC said it does not make its user data available to any external parties except where required to do so by law.

Justice Minister and Garda Commissioner_640

Published 10/11/14 at 15. 25

Body recovered in search for missing Dublin woman

A multi-agency search for a missing Dublin woman has ended following the recovery of a body from the water at the west pier, in the area of the search. Gardai and dozens of Search & Rescue volunteers were involved in the search for 38 year old Catherine O’Reilly , who was last seen on Thursday evening last near the Merrywell Industrial estate, Dublin.

The Irish Coast Guard, RNLI Lifeboat and Civil Defence volunteers searched land and water for the missing Dublin woman. The K-9 unit from Laois Civil Defence was also involved in yesterdays search following a request for assistance from Dublin Civil Defence.

Gardaí at Clontarf are leading the investigation and can be contacted on 01 6664800. Anonymous information can also be given via the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Updated: 09/11/14 at 13.20

Large scale search continues for missing Dublin woman

A Large-scale search operation has commenced this morning for missing woman 38 year old Catherine O’Reilly, who was last seen on Thursday evening last near the Merrywell Industrial estate, Dublin.  Gardai and voluntary service personnel are involved in the search which is being headed up by Gardai at Clontarf.

The Irish Coast Guard, RNLI Lifeboat and Civil Defence volunteers are searching land and water for the missing Dublin woman. The K-9 unit from Laois Civil Defence was also involved in yesterdays search following a request for assistance from Dublin Civil Defence.

Howth Coast Guard has said the multi-agency search operation will continue for the missing woman, who is is described is 5’4” in height, of slim build. Catherine has long brown hair and blue eyes. When last seen she is believed to have been wearing a black bubble type jacket.

Gardaí at Clontarf are leading the investigation and can be contacted on 01 6664800. Anonymous information can also be given via the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Howth SAR Catherine O Reilly_640

Published: 09/11/14 at 10.30
Pic: Dublin Civil Defence



Dublin Civil Defence unveils its new look website

Dublin Civil Defence has unveiled its new look website. It provides an overview about the Civil Defence command structure and its obligations. There is also a background to the voluntary organisation, in Ireland and locally in Dublin.

The website outlines recent high profile incidents which members of Dublin Civil Defence attended in recent times such as the severe weather response efforts of 2009 & 2010, the support efforts to the Kildare Civil Defence and Kildare Fire Service at the Kerdiffstown Landfill Site fire outside Naas in 2011 and the twenty-seven day search and recovery efforts at Glandore Bay Harbour, Cork following the sinking of the Tit Bonhomme fishing trawler in 2012. Its news page also has a photo gallery with related stories. also provides information about the various services in which the Civil Defence provide, such as the Auxiliary Fire Service, Rescue, Welfare, Wardens, Casualty, Water Rescue and K9 services. If you are interested in joining Dublin Civil Defence, there is a user friendly and easily accessible on-line entry form. The website will be updated by its officers and members.

Check it out!
Published: 02/11/14 at 1300

Dublin Civil Defence. website

Northern Ireland services report ‘low number’ of Halloween incidents

There has been an 18% decrease in Halloween incidents in Northern Ireland this year compared to last year. The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) has reported that it received 141 calls and attended 102 incidents across the north, and said it was the lowest figure on record for 31st October.

The NIFRS confirmed that the majority of incidents were located in the Southern Command Area, mostly involving rubbish, bonfires and tyre fires, amounting to 45% of the call outs.

Separately, the Police Service of Northern Ireland has confirmed that they made 12 arrests in Londonderry following Halloween celebrations. The PSNI said this compares with 17 arrests in Derry last year and 21 in 2012.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service didn’t report any significant rise in call outs last night.

Published: 01/11/14 at 17.00
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NIFRS Fire Pic

Pic: Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

Report: Ambulance response times improve, but 25% still not making it.

New figures reveal that response times to HSE emergency ambulances have improved, but 25% are still not making the target time of getting to the scene.

The report shows that in the first seven months of the year, 75% of ECHO calls (Life-threatening cardiac or respiratory arrest) made it to the scene within 18 minutes and 59 seconds, compared with 70.5% last year.

Response times to DELTA calls, which are for life-threatening injuries, showed an improvement, but almost 4 in 10 failed to make the recommended time. The report showed it was as low as 56.6% in the Western region.

The Health Service Executive said the improvement is due to the increased use of intermediate ambulances which can be used to transfer patients in non-emergency situations between hospitals. In July, 77pc of all inter-hospital transfers were handled by these vehicles, up from 44pc in December 2013. They are now carrying out around 3,000 patient transfers a month.

The ambulance service receives approximately 22,000 emergency calls a month, annually rising to about 275,000 to 280,000.  The HSE said a significant problem remains in releasing ambulances which have brought patients to hospital but must wait because of A&E overcrowding.

The report shows that figures for August reveal that just 64pc were released within half an hour or less while most were freed up within an hour.

Published: 01/11/14 at 16.00


Irish Fire Services Halloween Night Regional Round-up

Fire Control Operators at Ireland’s three regional fire control centres dealt with hundreds of fire and emergency calls yesterday evening and into the night, mobilising fire crews from almost every county to various incidents last night for what is the Fire Services busiest night of the year.

The control centres are the Eastern Regional Control Centre at Townsend Street in Dublin, the Munster Regional Communications Centre at Mulgrave Street, Limerick and the Western Regional Control Centre at Humbert Way, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.

Emergency Times has compiled the following regional report on 01.11.14 @ 14.30

Donegal – Fatal House Fire
One man died following a house fire at Carnmalin, Malin Head, Co. Donegal shortly after midnight. Gardai are investigating the incident and a technical examination is underway.

Meanwhile, extra Gardai were drafted in to police an area of Finn Valley, east Donegal last night in order to prevent a repeat of last years incident in which a group of teenagers targeted Gardai and fire crews with fireworks as they attempted to deal with two large fires in the area. Gardai reported a relatively quiet night in the area last night.

A massive blaze broke out Go-Kart premises on the Old Airport road in Swords, Co. Dublin at around 9.15pm. Plumes of thick black smoke were visible for miles. A number of units of Dublin Fire Brigade, including fire appliances, a water tanker and a foam unit dealt with the fire while also dealing with another large fire at an all-weather astro turf soccer pitch in Ticknock, while two stolen cars were also pushed into bonfires at Captains Avenue, close to Kylemore Avenue. Meanwhile, gardai and fire-fighters dealing with separate fires in Clondalkin and Palmerstown were forced to abandon the scene of both fires after the fire tenders and garda vehicles came under ‘attack by a gang of youths’.

Pic: Dublin Fire Brigade @DubFireBrigade

Bus Fire – 20 Passengers removed.
A bus caught fire on the N2 near Finglas. Fire fighters assisted up to 20 passengers of the bus. There were no injuries reported. By the early hours of this morning, the fire brigade had dealt with 8 large fires, 4 domestic fires, 3 fire at industrial premises, 17 car fires, 3 lorry fires, 134 small fires and 4 road traffic collisions.

Kildare & Laois
In Kildare, fire fighters were fighting a large blaze for most of the night as up to 700 bales of hay caught fire at Millicent Hall, at Firmount, Clane. Fire crews from Naas attended the incident with a fire appliance and water tanker. A nearby canal at Digby Bridge was used as a water source.

In a separate incident, Five Units of the Fire Brigade dealt with a truck and trailer fire on the M7 Motorway at Junction 14, Monasterevin last night. Kildare Fire Service was assisted by Laois County Fire & Rescue Service. A section of the motorway was closed and diversions were put in place.

Kildare_Hay Fire
Pic: Leinster Leader (Hay Fire at Millicent, Clane, Co. Kildare)

It was a quieter night in the Rebel County as Cork City Fire Brigade and Cork County Fire Service reported they dealt with just a number of small scale incidents, apart from one large isolated incident, separate to Halloween itself. A spokesperson said “This was mainly because bonfire night takes place on a different night in Cork, and on that night there would generally be hundreds of calls to Cork’s fire brigade.”

Up to five units of Cork City Fire Brigade dealt with a fire at a restaurant in Blackrock in the city. The fire was discovered at approximately around 5.40pm. The premises was said to be ‘well alight’ on arrival. Fire-fighters wearing breathing apparatus searched three apartments above the building, and all three were made clear with no persons found. It is understood an over fire may have caused the blaze. The building was extensively damaged. The blaze was brought under control and extinguished by 8.30pm. There were no injuries reported.

Cork Vehicles
Pic: Courtesy Padraig Barrett in Cork

Limerick City and County Fire Service said Halloween passed without any major incidents and with no reports of ‘out of control’ fires. Limerick City responded to two fires while Limerick County responded to four minor fires. Meanwhile, Gardai in Limerick have said there were no major issues associated with this years Halloween celebrations.

While Galway Fire Service also reported a ‘generally quiet’ night, Galway Gardai however said they were ‘inundated’ with calls throughout the city from people in nearly every estate, reporting bonfires and people using fireworks. However, Gardai conformed there were no reports of injuries late last night.

There were no reports of any major or serious incidents in Waterford City or County last night, however, early in the evening Waterford City Fire Service released a woman who became trapped in a public toilet. The incident happened at around 6pm on the Quay in Waterford City. Emergency services were called to the toilet, which has an automatic locking system, after reports of a woman being locked inside and couldn’t get out. The fire crew managed to free the woman after a short time.

Waterford Toilet Incident
Pic: Waterford City Fire Service facebook

There were no reports of any major or serious fires in Clare on Halloween night; however, on the eve of Halloween, emergency services in Ennis, Co. Clare were called to an apartment fire at Barrack street at around 5pm. Residents were evacuated from the apartment complex. Three units of Clare County Fire Service from Ennis fire station, a HSE Ambulance crew and a Rapid response paramedic unit responded to the incident.

Fire fighters wearing breathing apparatus searched the building. Early indications are that the cause of the blaze may have been an electrical fault, in a corner where a TV was. No one was injured in the incident and efforts were being made locally to accommodate the affected residents.

Ennis Apartment Fire 30.11.14
Pic: Courtesy Pat Flynn (Emergency Services Clare facebook)

Ambulance Response
It was a busy night for the HSE Ambulance Service and Dublin Fire Brigade’s ambulance service too. Dublin Fire Brigade reported that the Capital’s emergency services were pushed to its limit after they received more than 600 emergency calls from across Dublin city and county. A spokesperson said “Thankfully there were no reported injuries or assaults to fire crews last night and all personnel are going home to their families safe,” while John Kidd of the Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association said he was glad that appeals to the public by the emergency services ‘not to attack or harass emergency services staff’ were heeded. There were no reported injuries or assaults to fire crews last night.

CAMP West Control Centre Pic

Pic: The late Eddie Gentles RIP

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