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Sinn Féin discuss crisis with Fire Brigade delegation

19 December, 2005

Sinn Féin's Dublin Spokesperson on the Environment, Councillor Daithí Doolan, announced today, "that Sinn Féin were meeting with a delegation of Fire Brigades from across the state. This meeting has been organised by Sinn Féin to discuss what can only be called a crisis within the Fire Brigades in this state. "

Speaking at the meeting in Leinster House, Cllr. Doolan said:

"Included in this delegation are representatives from fire brigades in Dublin, Cork, Louth and senior trade union officials. It has become clear that a lack of resources for Fire Brigades is putting the lives of the staff and the public at risk. I can only describe as deadly dangerous the lack of planning put in to the Fire Brigades across this state. Following a recent meeting with Dublin Fire Brigade I raised the issues with the Dublin City Manager. The responses which I have received are wholly unacceptable. The Manager's policy is at best a band aid solution at worst an ostrich approach, bury your head in the sand in the hope everything will be ok.

"Unfortunately to date, the officials in Dublin City Council refuse to carry out this essential Fire Risk Assessment. As Dublin continues to grow and develop so should the Fire Brigade but since there has been no Risk Assessment carried out the Fire Brigade can not meet the new demands from a developing city. Currently local authorities can not even determine what resources, finance and training is needed because of the lack of planning and risk assessment. We can not continue in the hope that a accident similar to Hemel Hemstead simply will not happen here in Ireland. Without proper planning the public continue to be put at risk. This is totally unacceptable.

"It has also become clear that Fire Brigades could not even take part in European wide civil responses to recent humanitarian disasters simply because no adequate training or funding was provided. Yet the funding and training would be provided by the EU, this raises further serious questions about local and central government's commitment to humanitarian assistance."

In conclusion Cllr. Doolan called on, "Minister for the Environment Dick Roche to clarify why no Fire Risk Assessment has been carried out in Dublin and other cities and towns in this state." ENDS

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