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Fire Fighters shown to be poor relation again - McDonald

1 August, 2006


Sinn Féin MEP and Dublin Central election candidate Mary Lou McDonald has said that the decision by the Department of Justice to purchase 13,000 stab vests for the Gardaí has shown that fire-fighters continue to be the poor relation in the emergency services.

 

The Dublin MEP said: "I welcome the decision by the Department of Justice to supply stab vests for Garda officers. It has been a long-time demand from rank and file Garda officers and absolutely necessary to enable them to carry out their duties in a safe manner.

 

"But it shows again that fire-fighters continue to be the poor relation in the emergency services. Less than two months ago fire-fighters were attacked as an emergency crew attended a hoax call-out. An Emergency Motion to provide protective measures for ambulance and fire crews proposed by Sinn Féin Group Leader on Dublin City Council Cllr Christy Burke was passed unanimously at last month's Council meeting. A few weeks ago, joined by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Cllrs Felix Gallagher and Daithí Doolan, I met with SIPTU Dublin fire-fighters to discuss these attacks on them.

 

"While the priority issue for them was reform of the compensation system for fire-fighters who are victims of attacks, which is much more restricted than that which applies for Gardaí, the need to protect these men and women from attack is paramount. I would ask the Department of Environment and Local Government to provide funding to the local authorities across the 26 Counties to enable them to purchase stab vests to be available for fire-fighters."

 

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