Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has said: “Nearly €5 million worth of equipment which was purchased by the Coast Guard service less than two years ago is still sitting in boxes at the coast guard facility in Blanchardstown.”
Senator Daly, the party’s spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, said: “This communication equipment is used to coordinate the rescue of people in need of coast guard assistance on land and sea. It should have been installed in the Coast Guard’s Marine Rescue Coordination centres in Valentia and Malin. The equipment in both Valentia and Malin is dangerously obsolete. In 2007 the manufactures of it, Motorola, issued what is termed in the industry as Death Certificate which stated that “the equipment is liable to catastrophic failure at any moment.”
Senator Daly said: “Despite being aware of the current equipment’s certainty of failure at any time the Coast Guard has failed in its responsibilities. It is hard to understand why an organisation given the duty for protecting lives is knowingly putting them at risk. It has recently come to my attention that the warranty has now run out on the communications equipment in storage in Blanchardstown and it is my information that the coast guard service is paying 1000s of euro every month to the manufacturers to maintain a warranty on idle equipment.
Senator Daly concluded: “The men and women in the Irish Coast Guard service undertake incredible work and their commitment is invaluable. Just this weekend past there were 50 call outs to deal with. I want to the Coast Guard rescuers to have the best possible equipment to continue to help them save lives. However I have a genuine concern that this equipment could be out of date before it is installed and that there is an unnecessary delay in this regard. I am calling on the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar to urgently address this matter.”