Saturday, March 20, 2010

Waterford people send mayday message to Government - Save our service

When I was 17 someone said to me ‘the funny thing about common sense is that it is not all that common’. Every since I have seen this confirmed over and over again. Last week it was announced that Waterford and the Southeast is to lose its 24 hour Air Search and Rescue Service in 2013 as part of a cost cutting exercise. The decision beggars belief. The southeast is littered with coastal and fishing villages from West Waterford to North Wexford. It unfortunately has the highest number of deaths at sea in the country. Yet of all of the regions it alone is to lose the 24 hour emergency response cover. Common sense is absent yet again.

The public reaction in the southeast has been quick and decisive. We are not going to tolerate this cut. The Government can find some other way to save money. Cutting the service will save €1m. How on earth can this be justified? Imagine if we allowed the service to be cut. Imagine if there was an accident late at night. Imagine if lives could have been saved if the air emergency response service was in place. There would be a national outcry. So let’s not end up in this position. Let us collectively work together, politicians, civic leaders and citizens in overturning this decision. Next month Sinn Féin councillors will table emergency motions to both Waterford City and County councils. Our national Spokesperson on rural development and fishing Martin Ferris TD will visit the region and pledge his support. Lets collectively take a stand and refuse to accept a second rate service for the Southeast.

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