17/02/2009

Wicklow Rescuers Win Accolade

The team credited with a dramatic mountain rescue operation last week in Co Wicklow is being honoured.

Northern Ireland Sports Minister Gregory Campbell will tonight host an event to acknowledge the contribution of the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team to the Northern Ireland community.

Speaking ahead of the reception at Parliament Buildings, Minister Campbell said: "The team is being presented with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Services which was awarded in 2008 for all of the work that they undertake in the community.

"It is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon groups of this kind and is equivalent in status to the MBE.

"I must commend the members of Mourne Mountain Rescue Team past and present for providing over 47 years of voluntary service to those that use the Mourne Mountains.

"Their dedication to providing a professional service and commitment to training and assisting others in need is exemplary."

The Minister continued: "I was pleased that Sport Northern Ireland has provided the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team with funding of £70,000 for the purchase of their new transit van and radios which have already been put to good use.

"While many would argue that the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team are not a sporting team, their very existence and indeed the existence of other similar rescue and support teams, allows so many people from all over Northern Ireland and further afield, the opportunities to use the mountains for leisure and recreational purposes," he concluded.

'Further afield' last week meant the Mourne team joined forces with their colleagues on the NI-based North West Mountain Rescue team as back-up for the Irish Republic's volunteers who had launched searches on Monday for two snowboarders trapped on one of Ireland's highest mountains.

They were just hours from freezing to death when the Ulster rescuers located them and they were winched to safety by helicopter.

The men were stranded in sub-zero temperatures on Lugnaquilla in the Wicklow Mountains for almost a day, after their map blew away and thick fog crept in.

The call around 4pm on Monday sparked a major manhunt involving 60 volunteers from both sides of the border as well as teams and helicopters from the RAF, Irish army and Coastguard.

See: Lost Snowboarders Found In Cross-Border Rescue

(BMcC/JM)

Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

12 March 2024
How Much Gambling Takes Place in Ireland?
When we think of Ireland, we may think of many things ranging from lush green landscapes to Guinness and Irish dancing, but it may be surprising to learn that the country has a passion for gambling.
14 March 2024
Ministers Praise Critical Work Of Ireland Funds
The First Minister and deputy First Minister have praised the work of Ireland Funds, highlighting its critical role in promoting and supporting peace. Michelle O'Neill and Emma Little-Pengelly, speaking at the Ireland Funds Gala in Washington, welcomed the positive and real impact made across society by the philanthropic body.
13 March 2024
Public Appeal After Third Confirmed Case Of Measles In Ireland
The Public Health Agency (PHA) has announced that it has been made aware of a third confirmed case of measles in the Republic of Ireland. It is understood that the case was confirmed in a resident of Ireland who had arrived back in the country from Abu Dhabi on Saturday 9 March 2024.
13 March 2024
How Much Gambling Takes Place in Ireland?
When we think of Ireland, we may think of many things ranging from lush green landscapes to Guinness and Irish dancing, but it may be surprising to learn that the country has a passion for gambling.
13 March 2024
First And Deputy First Minister To Celebrate St Patrick's Day In US
The First and Deputy First Minister will travel to the United States this week for a series of St Patrick's Day engagements in Washington DC. The visit will focus on showcasing the local economy and develop key relationships and networks across the U.S. Ministers will attend the NI Bureau Breakfast, Ireland Funds Gala, a meeting with the U.S.