Funeral of Captain Mark Duffy RIP

The funeral of Captain Mark Duffy has taken place in in Blackrock, County Louth. Captain Duff died when the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 116 helicopter crashed off the Mayo coast.

Hundreds of service men and women gathered at the funeral. Mark’s coffin was led by a lone bagpiper to St. Oliver Plunkett Church in Blackrock.

President Michael D. Higgins attended the funeral.

Funeral of Cpt Mark Duffy – Photo: (RTÉ News)

Fr Stephen Duffy, Mark’s uncle, was the main celebrant during this morning funeral. He said this is more than a family tragedy; it is a community catastrophe and described his nephew as kind, humble in spirit and pure in heart, and a man with a terrific sense of humour.

Captain Duffy’s colleagues who are still missing, winchman Ciarán Smith and winch operator Paul Ormsby, were remembered today along with Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, whose funeral took place almost two weeks ago.

Order of Malta to open Charity Shop in Belmullet

The Order of Malta team serving the in Belmullet, Erris area in County Mayo are to open a charity shop in the coming weeks.

The shop will be located at Church street in Belmullet and will be staffed by volunteers.

All funds raised will go towards the cost of running the Belmullet / Erris Unit. The unit will also be supporting other Order of Malta charitable activities nationally

OMAC MAYO Belmullet Erris
Pic: (Order of Malta Belmullet/Erris)

The volunteers are now accepting donations of clothes, books, DVD’s and Furniture etc

The Shop will be open this Saturday 1st April and Saturday 8th April from 12pm – 4pm to accept donations only.

For queries – Call 087 7011 540

Police in Walse find missing helicopter with bodies inside

Police in North Wales have confirmed that the wreckage of a helicopter they were searching for with five people on board has been located. The bodies of five people have been found inside the wreckage.

Gareth Evans, Superintendent, North Wales Police said the details of the victims were not being released by police but specialist officers were supporting their families.

The helicopter was a privately-owned Eurocopter AS55 Ecureuil 2 (Twin Squirrel) and is believed to have left Luton to fly to Dublin, via Caernarfon Bay, before disappearing yesterday afternoon.

A search of the Irish Sea and Snowdonia was launched at around 4.15pm yesterday after the Distress and Diversion system lost radar contact with the helicopter.

MAJOR FIRE in Dundalk – 100 cars on fire in compound

SEVERAL Units of Louth Fire & Rescue Service are battling a major fire at a car compound at Haggardstown, outside Dundalk, Co. Louth this evening. The fire was reported to be ‘well established’ and spreading.

It is understood an estimated 100 cars are on fire inside the compound.

The full crew from Dundalk fire station and all appliances are committed to the incident and are being backed up by additional fire crews from across County Louth.

Our colleagues at ‘Fire Ireland’ are en route and will have some images from the scene.

MORE to follow

New Garda Youth Diversion Project launched in Athy

The Caisleán Project, a community based, multi-agency, youth crime prevention initiative which primarily seeks to divert young people who have been or are at risk of being involved in criminal or antisocial behaviour was launched in Athy, Co. Kildare today.

The GYPD programme was launched by social justice charity Extern in conjunction with the Kildare Division of AN Garda Síochána.

Sixteen young people, aged between 12 and 17, will be involved in the Extern Project at any one time. Once a young person moves on from the Project, the Extern team will offer follow-ups at various periods throughout the year, to check how they are progressing.

The Extern team will work alongside An Garda Síochána and the Irish Youth Justice Service in the delivery of the Project, which offers opportunities for education and employment training. It is also introducing young people to activities and interests which they may not have previously known how to access, including specific sports, art and music.

960 Garda KE Extern Speaker
Pic: (Extern’s Kate O’ Brien speaking at the launch)
Photo: (Extern Group Twitter @extern1978)

The Extern Project will deliver individual work, group work, educational support and pro-social activities. This will empower the young person to engage and take responsibility for their social and personal development as well as gaining the opportunity to learn new skills and improve on existing skills. Once identified as suitable for the project, the young person and their family will meet with a Youth Justice worker. Together Extern will devise a personalised programme plan which will best suit the young person’s needs.

Kildare’s Garda Chief Superintendent Gerry Roche said ‘we owe it to our young people to keep them on the right road’.

960 Garda KE Extern Launch Pic
Pic: (Kildare Garda Chief Superintendent Gerry Roche)
Photo: (Extern Group Twitter @extern1978)

A Garda Youth Diversion Project is a resource which is much sought after in every community. The establishment of The Caisleán project will be a very useful service in Athy, Castledermot and Ballitore which can support young people and their families.

Garda Juvenile Liaison Officer Kevin Fahy said, “An Garda Síochána is delighted to be able to be involved with this positive development for young people. I look forward to working with Eimear, Rachel and Marie from Extern and know that their experience and commitment will have a positive effect in the south Kildare area.”

Speaking ahead of the launch, Charlie Mack, CEO of Extern, said: “”I am confident that the Caisleán Project will prove itself to be a valuable and worthwhile initiative for the Athy and Castledermot areas. I have no doubt that the palpable benefits of this project will become clear to all in the community in no time. The main reasons that these Diversion Projects are successful is that they are operated at a local community level and receive input from local agencies that have an interest in developing young people into socially active, responsible and educated adults. I am also confident that the project will bring great success for the young people and afford them the opportunity to engage and participate fully in society”

The project is also supported by Kildare County Council’s Municipal District members in south Kildare. Patricia Berry, Community Representative in the Athy Municipal District said, “It is great to have such a great project up and running in the South of the County and what a great service to offer to young people and families. I was honoured to be asked to be part of the committee and am looking forward to working with the team in the future.”

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Vacancies at Offaly Fire & Rescue Service

Offaly Fire & Rescue Service are seeking candidates to fill the position of a firefighter at Ferbane Fire Station. Candidates must have attained a suitable level of education to enable them to undergo successfully, the appropriate training and to perform satisfactorily, the duties of a retained firefighter.

Candidates will be required to undergo a practical fire fighter suitability test in addition to a literacy and numeracy test.

Photo: (Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

The normal place of residence and work base of candidate shall be within a distance from the Fire Station acceptable to the Council, a general guidance is to reside and work within a 1.5 mile radius or upon approval by the Chief Fire Officer within a reasonable distance of their Fire Station to enable them to function effectively.

Candidates must hold a full unendorsed driving license for Class B vehicles.

Closing Date is Thursday 13th April 2017 at 4pm

Full details and application for here

Carlow wins regional Civil Defence exercise in Wexford

The Sunny South East lived up to its reputation with glorious sunshine as Wexford County Council hosted the regional Civil Defence exercise on Saturday last.

Report by Wexford Civil Defence
Curracloe, Co Wexford provided for an idyllic
venue for the Civil Defence Regional competition. Teams from Carlow, Dublin, Cork South and Waterford joined Wexford’s Civil Defence team in several gruelling exercises throughout the day, designed to test each team’s abilities to respond to staged incidents involving multiple casualties.

Elements of Saturday’s competition included foot drill, missing person search, communication and two casualties & first aid scenarios with team members challenged to manage the accident scene, treat and rescue casualties and triage casualties for transport.

The missing persons search competition tested the team’s capabilities in the challenging but the ideal environment of the Raven Forest with two missing casualties to be located. Teams were required to plan the search, deploy search teams and set up a communications system to manage the search teams.

960 Civil Defence exercise Wexford
Photo: (Civil Defence Ireland)

Wexford Civil Defence volunteers provided personnel and equipment to run the day’s events, with their hard-working welfare team providing food and refreshments for over 120 people on the day. Food was prepared at their Headquarters at Ardcavan and was served onsite from the mobile catering units. The Defence Forces provided tents for registration and food serving.

The day’s activities were followed by a prize giving ceremony and dinner at the Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford. Among those attending was Paul Kehoe TD, Minister with responsibility for Defence, Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Cllr Paddy Kavanagh, Mayor of Wexford Cllr Frank Staples, Director of Services John Carley. The Department of Defence was represented by Stephen Hall while the Civil Defence College was represented by Róisín McGuire and other staff members.


Team A Carlow - Winners - Ferrycarrig Hotel
Winners: Team A Carlow
Photo: (Civil Defence Ireland)

Carlow Civil Defence were winners in the combined services element and Waterford Civil Defence were victorious in the foot drill element.

You can view more photos from the Civil Defence website at  

Sombre mood as Toaiseach opens new Waterville Coast Guard station

A new Coast Guard station was officially opened this afternoon by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny. The mood was sombre as Irish Coast Guard members and other service personnel gathered at Waterville’s newly refurbished coast guard station in County Kerry for the official opening.  

The Building, which was originally taken over by the State from the British Coastguard in 1923, had fallen into disrepair and has now been fully refurbished by the Office of Public Works (OPW) with an investment of €377,000.

Speaking at the event to officially open the refurbished station the Taoiseach said: “The Irish Coast Guard has suffered more than its share of tragedy recently with the shocking loss of Volunteer Caitríona Lucas as well as the crew of Rescue 116, Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith. It is a sobering reminder of the ever-present danger Coast Guard and other emergency responders face every time they answer that call for help. As we open this new station at Waterville, we again remember the constant courage and selflessness of our emergency personnel and we pray for the safety and well-being of all who operate from here in the future.”

IRCG Kerry Iveragh Waterville
Pic: Newly refurbished Waterville Coast Guard station
Photo: (Iveragh/Waterville Coast Guard)

Waterville Coast Guard opened a book of condolences at the ceremony.

In the latter part of 2015, Knightstown Coast Guard amalgamated with Waterville Coast Guard to provide a better response in the south west Kerry region. A 200-year-old Rocket Wagon and Waterville’s new Coast Guard jeep were on display at the ceremony.

200 yrar old IRCG cart
Photo: (Iveragh/Waterville Coast Guard)

The refurbished Irish Coast Guard station is based beside the local garda station.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross “On my own behalf and on behalf of my Department I would like again to express our deepest condolences and sincere sympathies to all those affected by the recent tragedy, particularly to the family members of the crew of Rescue 116. My Department and I have the utmost respect for the volunteers and helicopter crews who provide a search and rescue service on behalf of the Irish Coast Guard, a division of my Department. Their bravery, dedication and commitment is nothing short of remarkable.”

Emergency Times hopes to have more photos from the official opening later this week.

Pilot dies following light aircraft crash in Waterford

An elderly man, the sole occupant of a light aircraft which crashed into trees outside Dungarvan, Co. Waterford this afternoon has died.

The crash occurred at around  4.30pm.The man is said to have been the only occupant of the aircraft.

Local diversions are in place and emergency services are at the scene.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit has been informed of the incident.

File Photo: Photo: (Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

Limerick garda emergency scheme is a real life saver

Garda Paul Baynham is leading a life-saving scheme being trialed at Mayorstone Garda Station on the Northside of Limerick City. He explains to Andrew Carey how he became involved with the pilot programme and his hopes to have it rolled out nationwide. 

By Andrew Carey, Limerick Post @andrewcareylk

In October 2013, Paul Baynham was on duty with colleague Niamh Kennedy when a call came through that a baby suffering breathing difficulties had turned blue while being brought from Ennis to University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

The two Limerick Gardaí intercepted the 17-day-old infant and his parents en route to the hospital. They transferred him to their patrol car where Garda Baynham, who is a qualified Emergency Medical Technician, managed to open his airway and keep him breathing until they reached UHL. Four years later, the little boy is full of life and boundless energy, thanks to the lifesaving intervention of the two quick-thinking Gardaí.

That incident acted as a catalyst for Garda Baynham to look at the critical minutes between an emergency alert being raised and the arrival of first responders. When the HSE ambulance is mobilised, a text alert goes to the community based project from the 999 service for all responders to react.

The pilot scheme being led by Garda Baynham, sees medically trained Gardaí responding to emergency calls within a 7km radius of the Mayorstone station.

Initiated last October, the scheme has already been credited with saving ten lives because of the team’s intervention in those “critical minutes between life and death. If we are on duty and not attending a policing call, we can respond immediately to a medical emergency,” Garda Baynham explains.

The Kerry native said that although the text alerts only come to his phone, he is one of  three trained Gardaí who are equipped with a high-tech medics “jump” bag which includes a defibrillator and a range of first aid equipment.

960 Limerick Save a Life Garda Pol Baynham
Pic: (Garda Paul Baynham and Garda Aidan Riordan, Mayorstone Garda Station)
Photo: (Courtesy Andrew Carey / @andrewcareylk)

The Mayorstone scheme reaches parts of east Clare including Sixmilebridge and Parteen as well as to Rosbrien and Castletroy on the outskirts of Limerick city. “What we are is a stop-gap to stop the clock running from the time the emergency call is made to when the ambulance gets to the scene. That means the casualty is getting the best chance of survival because, as long as they can get cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) within a couple of minutes of the call being made, the chances of survival are very high,” he said.

Since October 2016, Garda Baynham and his two colleagues, Detective Sean O’Hagan and Garda Aidan Riordan, have been alerted to 70 incidents and in ten cases, their interventions have proven to be life saving.

As a fully trained EMT, Garda Baynham said that even when he is not working, he still gets the emergency alerts. “If I’m in the area, I will certainly go to them but if I am not, I will get on to the central communications control room at Henry Street and get them to send the next nearest unit to assist. In the cases we have been successful in, it happened that we were alerted at the right time, in the right area and we were mobile so we could get in to bridge the gap in those vital minutes.”

“We would only be alerted to life threatening critical incidents of cardiac arrest, somebody not breathing or choking. Somebody is down, so seconds count. We can get there under blue lights and sirens so there’s an advantage there and that’s the beauty of this. At peak times, the National Ambulance Service could be stretched far and wide for any number of reasons and the nearest available resource could be outside the county miles away. That’s why we met with the District Office in Henry Street and put forward this proposal,” Garda Baynham explained.

He hopes that if the six-month review in April is positive, the programme will be rolled out to more stations in Limerick and possibly taken on as a nationwide initiative.

“The project is supported by the Civil Defence who have given us use of equipment and that means there has been no cost to the force or the State. People are seeing a different side to the Gardaí through this initiative. When 999 is alerted, you could have two Gardaí turning up, performing CPR or deploying the defibrillator and trying to get that next step in the chain of survival until the ambulance arrives.”

“We are a very, very small link in that chain but we can help and keep people stable until the National Ambulance Service arrives at the scene and that is the beauty about this programme. If you asked me what I see a year down the road, I’d hope it would be a case that there would be an EMT patrol car in each station with trained members ready to go. This could work well for rural stations and it is something that could be implemented by Gardaí on a nationwide basis.”

“If you were to look at one call, for instance, an 18-year-old who went into cardiac arrest on a pitch in a remote area where the closest ambulance could be 12 or 15 minutes away. Imagine if a garda patrol car could be there within four minutes and if the interventions were to be successful and save that young person’s life, I am sure that the €1,500 spent on defibrillator would be seen as a very small cost in the scheme of things,” he said.

The Mayorstone project, a first in the country, is fully supported by Limerick Garda Chief Superintendent Dave Sheahan who has praised the lifesaving efforts of the Mayorstone team. “We are about the communities we serve and their protection. This programme, from what we have seen first hand, is really adding to the force here in Limerick in respect of the initiative taken and spearheaded by the three Gardaí. This has been a worthwhile project and echoes the ethos of preservation of life and property,” he said.

Source: Our sincere thanks to Andrew Carey at the Limerick Post for permission to republish this article.