Month: August 2015
Added August 4th, 2015
Limerick Fine Gael TD Patrick O’Donovan has said that figures he has received from the Minister for Defence Simon Coveney shows the value of the National Air Ambulance Service to counties like Limerick. Details provided by the Minister to the Limerick TD show that in 2014 the Air Ambulance which is operated by the Air Corps was called out 20 times to Co. Limerick out of a total of 353 national call outs for the year.
“The Government recently decided to make the air ambulance service a permanent service at a cost of €2.6million per year. This is money well spent and the service is of huge importance to rural counties. Minister Simon Coveney and Minister Leo Varadkar decided to make the air ambulance permanent because over the last number of years it has become clear that it is a vital addition to the National Ambulance Service.”
Patrick O’Donovan said he could not understand why opposition parties had attacked Government investment in the Defence Forces based on the number of lives that the National Air Ambulance Service had saved. “Over the last number of years we have listened to constant attacks on the Government’s decisions to invest in the Defence Forces and to recruit young men and women to the Army, Air Corps and Navy from Fianna Fáil in particular. These figures produced by the Minister for of Defence, shows the number of lives that could have been lost or put at risk if the Government had listened to Fianna Fáil and not invested in the Defence Forces.
“This ambulance service together with services like fishery and costal patrol, navy divers involved in search and rescue, naval commitments in the Mediterranean where the Irish Navy have saved hundreds of lives, Air Corps search and rescue, bomb disposal units of the Army who are routinely called out to scenes of gangland crime, military intelligence to protect the country and our commitments to the United Nations are just some of the reasons which show that the Fianna Fáil policy of attacking investment in the Defence Forces is blatantly wrong, and they should reconsider their position.”
Patrick O’Donovan said that regardless of opposition attacks, he was glad that the National Air Ambulance Service is to be continued on a permanent basis and will be able to continue to provide a service for communities across the country whose local medical personnel and ground ambulance service need the assistance of the helicopter operated from Athlone.”