Minister Ross announces increase in Mountain Rescue grants in 2019
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, has today (23/05/19) announced details of increased funding for Mountain Rescue teams in 2019. There are ten mountain rescue teams, all constituent members of Mountain Rescue Ireland (MRI). The Search and Rescue Dogs Association is also a member of MRI while the Irish Cave and Rescue Organisation works closely with the MRI.
Minister Ross said “Mountain rescue teams play a hugely important role in the search and rescue field. Their commitment and expertise is increasingly called upon as hill walking and adventure sports get more popular.”
These rescue teams work primarily with An Garda Síochána who task them for mountain search and rescue operations. They also work closely with the Irish Coast Guard particularly where helicopter assets are required.
The Minister added: “Having reviewed the level of activity undertaken and various funding sources available to these teams, I am delighted to announce an increase in funding in 2019 amounting to €250,000 in total. In addition a development grant of over €60,000 is available to Mountain Rescue Ireland for eligible development projects”.
The Minister concluded “I wish to pay tribute to these brave people and the excellent life-saving work they do throughout the year.”
MRI stated that they are delighted with today’s announcement from Minister Shane Ross. MRI Chairperson Jonathan Shields (North West Mountain Rescue Team member) says “MRI is a 100% voluntary charity organisation and without this increase in funding, MRI would struggle to meet the ever-increasing costs of insurance, training and creating the infrastructure for the teams to operate successfully”.
The activities of the members of MRI have increased over the years, with callouts being the number one activity. MRI operates across Ireland 24/7/365 to ensure that the best possible voluntary mountain rescue service is given to the casualties that are rescued and treated.