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Tag Archives: Conor McGrath Doolin

Alleged failures of coast guard HQ led to Doolin unit’s collapse

THE alleged failure of Irish Coast Guard management to resolve practical issues hampering the work of Doolin volunteers prompted the first resignation of one of its longest serving members. Conor McGrath has spoken publicly for the first time about the reasons why he was forced to quit the service after 31 years through sheer frustration over inaction to resolve five key issues. In an exclusive interview with the Clare Champion, Mr McGrath recalled how he resigned shortly after writing his resignation letter on October 28, and this was followed by the departure of another five members within a few days. While local management was supportive, the Doolin resident, who is regarded as one of the best rock and sea cave climbers in the country, alleged national management was “disruptive”. “One of our team members Caitríona Lucas was killed in Kilkee and there was the helicopter crash. There was a lot of oversight and criticism of management. “I think they had …

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Clare climber’s cliff-hanging account of cave rescue

A DOOLIN-BASED expert rock climber has recalled how a team drilled around 120 bolts along the wall of a sea cave to rescue a man that had been trapped for almost 22 hours. The man was forced to remain on a ledge after a freak wave washed him into a cave at Downpatrick Head on the Mayo coast beyond Killala at 6pm on Saturday, September 17. Former Doolin Coast Guard volunteer, Conor McGrath said, “It was probably the most technical rescue ever undertaken in my 40 years’ experience. To rescue the man alive after such a long time was a great bonus. It was a very good result for all the team.” Mr McGrath recalled a few people were swimming and climbing along the coast when they were washed off a ledge into the water around 5.30pm. The RNLI Lifeboat was tasked to the scene after a woman was rescued by kayakers, but a Polish man in his forties was …

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