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New Fire Directorate a “disappointing bureaucratic charade” says Sinn Féin

23 June, 2009

Newly elected Wicklow County Councillor, Sinn Féin’s John Brady has described as a “disappointing bureaucratic charade” the setting up of a new national directorate to oversee fire services in the 26 counties. He said what was needed was a single national fire authority covering all 32 counties.

Cllr. Brady who has campaigned with the families of two firemen killed in Bray over a year ago made his comments after the Minister for the Environment John Gormley announced the setting up of the Directorate yesterday.

Cllr. Brady said, “We firmly believe it was the very nature of the structures and the fact that they were controlled by local authorities and not qualified fire fighters that led to the tragic deaths of Brian Murray and Mark O’Shaughnessey.

“These arrangements announced by John Gormley do not address that central issue. Instead what we have emerging is a disappointing bureaucratic charade where we will once again have local authorities playing a key role in providing a service for which they are ill-equipped in terms of technical expertise and resources to provide.

“The Farrell Grant Sparks report upon which this move by the Minister is predicated offered suggestions and solutions. The key finding is that Ireland needs a single national fire authority to oversee in a uniform manner the provision of fire services throughout the country. The setting up of the directorate does not even come close. Minister Gormley needs to listen to the fire fighters on the front line and come back with new arrangements otherwise this new Directorate will be nothing more than an expensive piece of window dressing.” ENDS

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