27/06/2014

One-Off Grant Announced For Mountain Rescue Services

A special one-off grant of €200,000 is to be made available for Mountain Rescue Ireland, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar and Minister of State for Tourism & Sport, Michael Ring have announced.

The ministers said that the funding would be used to purchase new vehicles and equipment.

Welcoming the announcement, Fine Gael Kerry TD and member of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications, Brendan Griffin, said: "I appreciate how valuable the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team is in my local area. The popularity of walking and hiking is increasing all the time, so it is extremely important that we have the backup of a fully equipped and well trained team.

"The Kerry Mountain Rescue Team was formed in 1966 following the deaths of two climbers and since then the team has done invaluable work in coming to the assistance of numerous climbers and walkers in distress.

"Kerry Mountain Rescue Team is run by highly skilled volunteers, who cover a huge area across the entire South West of the Country, including the peninsulas of Beara, Iveragh and Dingle. The team also come to the assistance of those in need on some of Ireland's highest peaks, including Carrauntoohil.

"Over two-thirds of the money needed to run Kerry Mountain Rescue is generated through fund raising, with the rest coming from Government or County Council Grants. Significant funding, such as that announced today, allocated specifically for rescue vehicles. is very welcome.

"Since coming into Government, funding for mountain rescue has stabilised with €363,000 now provided for day to day operations. Following consultation with Mountain Rescue Ireland, Minister Varakdar has decided to provide this special once-off grant of €200,000.

"I am sure this funding will prove very valuable in supporting the excellent work carried out by Kerry Mountain Rescue Team and other rescue teams across the country."

(MH/JP)

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