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Coast Guard Hits Out Over Search & Rescue Deal Reports

28th February 2011
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Coast Guard Hits Out Over Search & Rescue Deal Reports
The Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) has lashed out over newspaper articles on the recent €500m deal with CHC Ireland to provide search and rescue services.
The it was recently reported in an Irish newspaper that Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd called for an investigation into the deal. This followed a previous article in the same paper which claimed proposals by the Air Corps to provide the same service at a lower rate were rejected on the grounds that its main helicopter did not have a "good reputation".
But IRCG director Chris Reynolds has hit out at the newspaper for ignoring its clarifications over the CHC Ireland contract.
In correspondance seen by Afloat.ie, Reynolds answered questions from the paper regarding the nature of the deal.
Among them he explained that the invitation to tender was publicly advertised and open, but that the then Minister of Defence had made a policy decision in 2004 to remove the Air Corps from search and rescue services due to "operational difficulties" and precluded them as an option.
Reynolds emphasised that it was a Department of Defence directive that the deal be "100% civilian".
He also disputed any link between the CHC Ireland deal and one made by its parent company in the UK, which has been called into question over perceived irregularities.
Meanwhile, Afloat.ie has seen correspondence from CHC Ireland to former Minister for Transport Pat Carey assuring that the cancelling of the UK deal has no bearing on the provision of its services to the Irish Coast Guard.

The Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) has lashed out over newspaper articles on the recent €500m deal with CHC Ireland to provide search and rescue services.

The it was recently reported in an Irish newspaper that Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd called for an investigation into the deal. This followed a previous article in the same publication which claimed proposals by the Air Corps to provide the same service at a lower rate were rejected on the grounds that its main helicopter did not have a "good reputation".

But IRCG director Chris Reynolds has hit out at the newspaper for ignoring its clarifications over the CHC Ireland contract.

In correspondence seen by Afloat.ie, Reynolds answered questions from the paper regarding the nature of the deal. 

Among them he explained that the invitation to tender was publicly advertised and open, but that the then Minister of Defence had made a policy decision in 2004 to remove the Air Corps from search and rescue services due to "operational difficulties" and precluded them as an option.

Reynolds emphasised that it was a Department of Defence directive that the deal be "100% civilian". 
He also disputed any link between the CHC Ireland deal and one made by its parent company in the UK, which has been called into question over perceived irregularities.

Meanwhile, Afloat.ie has seen correspondence from CHC Ireland to former Minister for Transport Pat Carey assuring that the cancelling of the UK deal has no bearing on the provision of its services to the Irish Coast Guard.

Published in Coastguard
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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