A € 2 MILLION boost for North Clare is on the horizon with the news that funding for the long-awaited search and rescue centre for the Doolin Unit of the Irish Coast Guard is likely to be made available in 2014.
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar (FG), yesterday conﬁrmed that funding for the centre would not be made available in 2012 but did conﬁrm that the project would be given Government funding during the life of the current Capital Expenditure Programme. The Clare People has learned that 2014 has now been pencilled in as the start date for the project and, barring a major U-turn in Government policy, a funding conﬁrmation for Doolin should be made next year.
This news was welcomed by Mattie Shannon of the Doolin Unit of the Irish Coast Guard, who said that the group was happy with the commitment that the rescue station would be delivered during the lifetime of the current Government.
“It is positive news in that it conﬁrms that it is coming down the line. That is the important thing. We had expected that the funding would not be forthcoming for 2012 so that was not a great surprise to us,” said Mattie.
“We have heard that 2014 is now the likely date and, once we have the commitment that it is coming, we are happy with that. We have waited so long, this commitment is almost as good as saying that it is coming next year. So this is very positive news.”
The Doolin Unit of the Irish Coast Guard is one of the busiest coast guards in Ireland and has been operating in sub-standard conditions for a number of years. The current centre is too small to house all of the unit’s equipment and boats which means that a rescue could sometimes be delayed if a rescue craft needs to be transported to the centre.