The Government has refused to provide any assurances about the future of Malin Head Coast Guard Station following questions in the Dáil from Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue.
The Donegal North East Deputy raised special debate on the issue in Dáil Éireann this evening (Tuesday, 10 July 2012), demanding answers from Minister of State Alan Kelly about the Government’s plans in relation to Malin Head.
It follows a ‘value for money’ review published last week which recommended that the number of marine coast guard stations be cut from three to two. The report favoured the retention of Valentia over Malin Head.
Speaking in the Dáil this evening, Deputy McConalogue said, “We currently have a station that works very well and provides an excellent service. A large fight was put up for its continuation four years ago and we were sure at the time that the station’s future was safe. Another large fight, I can assure you Minister, will be put up again to ensure that importance of this station is emphasised to you.”
The Minister responded by saying that the process the Government is currently looking at will require some ‘tough decisions’. He refused to provide any commitment whatsoever to the future of Malin Head.
Speaking afterwards Deputy McConalogue said, “This response from the Government will be extremely worrying for people in Donegal and those involved in the fishing and marine sectors across the North West. Malin Head Coast Guard Station has provided an invaluable service in this region for over a century and is currently undergoing upgrades to allow it to continue this work.
“Any attempt to close Malin Head Coast Guard Station must be resisted at the highest level. I am calling on Fine Gael and Labour to clarify its plans in relation to the three coast guard stations, including Malin Head, without delay.”