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Coast Guard march in New York St. Patricks Day Parade

13th February 2009

Today, Minister of State Noel Ahern TD presented Irish, US and Irish Coast Guard marching flags to a delegation of Irish Coast Guard volunteers from Killaloe Co. Clare.  The presentation of flags by the Minister is in preparation for the volunteers forthcoming trip to New York city in March 2009.  The Killaloe volunteers will be the first ever Coast Guard representatives to march in a New York St. Patricks Day Parade.  The volunteers have been invited to march, at the invitation of the US Coast Guard. 

Speaking today, the Minister said: “The Irish Coast Guard play a vital, life-saving role in search and rescue throughout Ireland.  At present, there are almost 1,000 volunteer members of the Coast Guard.  Coast Guard volunteer teams (just like the Killaloe team) were called out over 700 times last year, at all hours of the day and night, often in difficult, dangerous weather conditions.   Our volunteer teams are stationed at 55 locations on the coast and inland waterways of Ireland.”

The Minister continued, “Earlier this week, we saw the assistance provided by the Coast Guard to An Garda Siochana and mountain rescue teams during a prolonged joint Search and Rescue operation to recover two men stranded in very poor weather conditions in the Wicklow mountains.  Our Coast Guard personnel and volunteers often work in the most difficult, extreme and challenging conditions and work closely with other Search and Rescue Resources and emergency services, including Community Rescue Units, the Gardai, Ambulance, Fire, Naval Service, Civil Defence among others. These volunteers will be the first group of Coast Guard volunteers ever to march in a New York St. Patricks Day Parade and are doing so at no cost to the Exchequer.  I wish the Killaloe representatives every success in New York and we are justifiably proud of them.” Team

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