Displaying items by tag: Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd
#NAVAL SERVICE - Ireland could soon join the fight against Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, the Irish Independent reports.
Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd confirmed that the Department of Defence was considering sending a personnel detachment to assist the EU's naval mission in the area west of Africa.
The region has been blighted by pirate attacks on merchant vessels and pleasure cruisers for a number of years.
Ireland's potential contribution to the EU's Operation Atalanta is known as an autonomous vessel protection detachment (AVPD), and would be used to protect the likes of food aid ships from the World Food Programme that sail without a naval escort.
The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.
Wexford Sub Aqua Club has been recognised for its commitment to the environment in an awards ceremony in Dublin last week.
The Wexford People reports that Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd presented the club with An Taisce's Coastguard Initiative of the Year Award for its work in cleaning up the beaches and waters around Kilmore Quay.
The club was one of many organisations and volunteers throughout Ireland recognised by An Taisce's Coastcare Merit Awards.
Among them were the Portmarnock Community Coastcare Group and Malahide resident Philip Lynch, who was rewarded for his efforts in protecting the north Dublin town's coastline.
Irish Water Safety (IWS) has launched a new TV awareness campaign to highlight best practice whether in, on or around water in an effort to cut the number of tragic drownings on our coasts and waterways.
"Ireland is blessed with some of the most beautiful locations in the world for water based activities and this campaign will help people enjoy these waterways safely," said Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd, speaking ahead of the launch.
The number of people taking to water based activities has exploded in the last decade, says IWS, yet many have had no formal swimming or lifesaving instruction, and many do not know what to do if they or a loved one gets into difficulty in the water.
The campaign highlights the importance of aquiring these skills and others, such as how to correctly wear a lifejacket.
"The most common dangers can be avoided by logging onto Irish Water Safety's website so that when the improving weather prompts a day trip to the seaside, rivers and lakes that you are well informed and stay safe," added Minister O'Dowd.