Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Michael Moynihan, has questioned An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as to when the new air ambulance service based in Rathcoole, County Cork will commence operation.

Speaking following confirmation from the Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) that all requirements in relation to the service have been met, Deputy Moynihan said, “Everything has been in place and ready to go since January of this year, yet four months on and we’re still waiting for the Minister to give the go-ahead for Air Ambulance South.

“Frustration is growing, paramedics have undergone specific training, equipment is in place and the helicopter itself is in situ at the air base and service ready. People are wondering what the hold up is.

“This is Ireland’s first privately funded and much needed air ambulance service. While I appreciate the need for the Government to be fully satisfied that the necessary clinical and corporate governance arrangements are in place I would ask that they treat this matter with more urgency than they have shown to date.

“The Air Ambulance South is expected to respond up to 500 calls per year, and bring most of the population of a 15,000 square kilometre area within 20 minutes of critical medical care. That can only be beneficial to the people living in remote and rural parts of Cork”, he concluded.