It was with extreme sadness that I learned of the tragedy which occurred this afternoon in the waters off Kilkee, Co Clare.
Caitriona was a member of that extraordinary group of men and women who dedicate their skills, time and passion so that others may be safe on our coastlines.
This is an appalling tragedy; the loss of a brave and valiant woman engaged in the most heroic of and unselfish of duties.
Such remarkable courage and heroism in the service of others is rarely equalled and never surpassed. On behalf of myself and my Department I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Caitriona – a woman who made the ultimate sacrifice in her service to others.
I would like to wish those two volunteers, who are recovering from this appalling trauma in hospital this evening, speedy and fulsome recoveries.
And I would like to commend all the volunteers, particularly those of Kilkee and Doolin CGUs, who responded today in such a valiant and courageous manner in the most horrendous and difficult of circumstances.
I can only applaud their bravery and empathise with their sorrow on this very, very tragic day.