An association of Irish Coast Guard volunteer representatives was formed, five years after the death of Coast Guard volunteer Caitríona Lucas.
The ICGVRA will be made up of current and former volunteers and was launched in Kilkee over the statutory holiday weekend following a commemoration for Ms Lucas, who died in Kilkee, County Clare on September 12, 2016.
It will be chaired by John O’Mahoney and will represent the concerns of Irish Coast Guard volunteers.
Ms Lucas was the first member of the Irish Coast Guard to die while on duty. She was involved in a search operation near Kilkee before the Delta Rib she was in capsized.
Her husband had previously called for the creation of such an association to allow volunteers to voice their concerns.
The Marine Accident Investigation Bureau’s final report on the incident also criticized the safety aspects of the operation.
In a ceremony commemorating Ms Lucas ahead of the launch, her daughter Emma laid a wreath for her mother atop the cliff next to where she died.
Many past and present volunteers also spoke fondly at the event about the importance of having an independent association to represent their interests.
“In the history of the Irish Coast Guard, there has never been an independent voice to speak on behalf of volunteers as a collective, to ensure that the welfare of volunteers from their perspective is at the forefront. heart of best practice policies, ”said O’Mahoney said.
He added: “We need to be there to offer our support and help to all IRCG members, past and present, to help resolve any issues they may have struggled with, and to work with management. of the IRCG to ensure that best practices prevail so that problems do not arise, if possible, in the first place. “
The Association said it is now seeking an urgent meeting with Transport Minister Eamon Ryan, and said their concerns will be raised at the next Transport and Communications Committee meeting.