Five lifesaving organisations and community projects have received a total of €44,955 in funding under the CLÁR programme’s support for first responder groups.
The largest allocation was to the Galway branch of the Irish Red Cross, who received €20,400 to purchase a boat.
Killascobe Defibrillator Group have been granted €10,460 for emergency defibrillator’s and other equipment, and Galway Mountain rescue will get €9,223 to upgrade their vehicle and other equipment.
The last two grants are €5,844 to the Irish Community Rapid Response in Galway for assorted equipment and €4,080 for the Eyrecourt and District Cardiac First Responders.
Galway East TD Sean Canney welcomed the funding, which he said would help save lives, “These community groups are providing a very important life-saving service within their communities and it is important that we continue to support them financially from central Government.”
This is the third round of funding allocations from the CLÁR programme in 2018. Measure 3 of the programme is designated for First Responder Support projects.
The first two rounds of funding announced earlier this month were for Health and Safety upgrades and Play Areas at schools and other community facilities in Galway.
Announcing the funding this week, Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring praised the work done by first responder groups.
“These community-based volunteer organisations do life-saving work. They need to have proper equipment and training in order to ensure they can perform their work,”
“This support will mean that if someone gets into difficulty, these groups will be better equipped to help them.”
The CLÁR programme provides targeted investment in small scale infrastructure projects in rural areas that have been hit the hardest by population decline.
It’s goal is to make these communities more sustainable, a vital project at a time when rural areas in Galway are increasingly draining into the city, which is itself undergoing a housing crisis.
“I have great respect for the volunteers that put themselves on the line in order to help others,” said Minister Ring of first responder groups.
“I know that this funding will go towards keeping members of our communities safe and well.”
In total, €1.2 million in funding for 70 first responder groups around Ireland was announced this week.
It will be spent on specialist equipment for mountain and aquatic rescue groups, vehicles for local ambulance groups, and public defibrillators for communities.