THE professionalism and dedication to duty of Clare Civil Defence was highlighted this week at the opening of the group’s new headquarters.
The new facility, at the Quin Road Campus in Ennis, was officially opened this Tuesday by Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Defence and Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The headquarters is a state-of-the-art, purpose-designed building that will be utilised by more than 100 Civil Defence volunteers from around the county, and includes training facilities, office accommodation, a records management centre, storage and garage.
Speaking at the official opening Minister Coveney said: “I am delighted to be here on this important occasion. It is a fantastic facility and a tribute to everyone who has been involved in this project.
“We have some of the Civil Defence volunteer community here and I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to them.
“Clare Civil Defence has undertaken 300 separate Covid-19 related tasks, and multiple other roles including a number of missing person searches, including in January, which concluded with the safe return of an elderly man.
“It is an organisation that brings with it a high level of professionalism in a volunteer body. During the darkest times of this pandemic, there were very few positives, however our renewed sense of community during this same period is something we should be all proud of.”
Delighted to officially open the New HQ for Clare Civil Defence in Ennis – €3.2m fantastic facility is a recognition of the importance of @CivilDefenceIRL and the essential role they play! @MaryHoward2009@ClareCoCo@IRLDeptDefence @conwayforclare pic.twitter.com/KKhIFiqGPA
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) June 8, 2021
Cllr Mary Howard, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, said: “Clare Civil Defence has had an outstanding record of service over many years. The development of this modern and well-equipped Civil Defence facility is timely and will support the essential and indeed life-saving work carried out by Civil Defence members. Clare Civil Defence is a volunteer-based organisation.
“Acquiring the necessary skills to do their demanding work involves significant training, which is why the investment in these facilities is so worthwhile. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the volunteer members of Clare Civil Defence have once again demonstrated their commitment and I would like to commend them for their dedication.”
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, said: “2020 was an extremely busy year for Clare Civil Defence, which resulted in the largest number of duties and responses carried out in the history of the unit in a single year.
“As they always do, the volunteer members have gone above and beyond what could be expected of them. The work done by Clare Civil Defence at times of severe weather events, flooding and storms is hugely important. I wish Clare Civil Defence continued success in the future and would like to acknowledge the remarkable volunteer ethos within the organisation.”
The acquisition and redevelopment of the headquarters was funded by Clare County Council, supported by the Department of Defence. Clare Civil Defence operates one of the most modern fleets in the country, which is funded through the Civil Defence section of the Department of Defence.
The project was delivered by Clare County Council Property Management, General Design office and Civil Defence teams, contractors Jada Kelly RAC Joint Venture and O’Keeffe Electrical, and external consultants Moloney Fox Mechanical and Electrical, Aecon Quantity Surveyors and Paddy Coleman & Associates, Structural Engineers.
Clare Civil Defence currently has 82 active volunteer members and 30 reserve members. Volunteer members have contributed over 3,500 volunteer hours so far during the Covid-19 pandemic. The community cover provided by the volunteer members has trebled in number since the beginning of the pandemic.