Progress made on Civil Defence HQ options

Progress has been made in finding a new headquarters for Westmeath Civil Defence, councillors heard at this month's County Council meeting on Monday.

Director of services, Martin Murray, said a sequence of meetings took place since January involving a representative group from the Civil Defence and all concerned stakeholders. He added that consultants in completing their assessments have come up with two viable options. However, Mr Murray did not go into detail regarding these.

A meeting with the Department of Defence has now been scheduled in order to find the preferred solution and to develop the necessary Capital Programme. An initial meeting is scheduled for May 5.

The news has been warmly welcomed by Fine Gael Deputy for Longford-Westmeath, Peter Burke.

"I brought the Minister down to see the former headquarters of the Civil Defence before Christmas and he was suitably shocked by the conditions that the Civil Defence had been forced to operate from," Deputy Burke said.

"He also met with volunteers and officials from the Civil Defence, including Commanders Tony Martin and Joe Reilly. I then secured a debate on the Dáil floor highlighting the hazardous and totally unsuitable conditions endured by our Civil Defence members, who work so hard on our behalf in emergency situations.

“This is a positive result, and I am hopeful that the Civil Defence will have a headquarters more suited to their needs and their valued work in the very near future.“

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