Fianna Fáil MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher has called on the Minister for Defence Alan Shatter TD to immediately instruct the Defence Forces to deploy personnel to West Donegal “to supplement the Donegal Fire Services to deal with the Gorse Fire in the Upper Rosses covering the triangle between Doochary/Leitir/Dungloe. The fire is completely out of control and is exacerbated by the dry weather and high winds.”

“The exhausted fire fighters and many locals are now on the ground almost 24hrs and cannot continue without support. They can only, in the meantime, protect homes and this is stretching their resources beyond limits.

“I am pleading with the Minister to assist and to avoid the ‘red tape’ that is delaying the arrival of the army.  Hundreds of personnel are urgently required to protect property in the area.”

“Extensive damage has already been done to farms, forestry, landscape and wild life is destroyed.  Last night was an inferno resembling the fires that more regularly sweep across States in Australia. Many houses are still in danger and the Minister should not stand back from ordering intervention,” concluded Pat the Cope.