Tuesday 17 October 2017
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross T.D. extended his warmest appreciation to the state agencies front line staff for their efforts in the clean-up following Storm Ophelia.
The Minister expressed his gratitude to the transport companies who have carried out fantastic work to get back to full operational level in very difficult circumstances.
Staff in Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and its contractors, and staff in our airports worked through Monday night in many cases to ensure the early restoration of services, with roads and train lines being cleared all through the night. In particular, Iarnród Éireann staff cleared a countless number of fallen trees and debris from lines so that the many blocked rail lines could be ready for commuters by the following morning. All Local Authority staff, TII staff and contractors have worked tirelessly to clear roads and have to be commended, this was an unprecedented weather event and I would like to personally thank everyone, including staff in my own Department, who has dug deep in this testing time to ensure disruption has been kept to the minimum. Safety is of paramount importance so there was always going to be disruption, but I want to thank everyone who heeded the advice of the National Co-Ordination Group.
I also want to thank the Irish Coast Guard who have worked in the most challenging of conditions over the last few days. The 3 Co-Ordination Centres were fully operational yesterday, and I know Coast Guard and RNLI volunteers alike were on alert and ready to respond where they could be of assistance.
I would remind people to heed the warnings and to remain vigilant as the weather passes.
Finally, but most important of all, I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of Claire O’Neill, Michael Pyke and Fintan Goss. I fully understand that there is nothing I can do or say that will lessen their pain or ease their loss, but I would like to say that my Department and I are thinking of them during this time.