EJK and EJM saved

4th December 2008, 14:07
Common sense prevails at last. From yesterday's Irish Examiner:

Valentia and Malin coastguard stations escape closure

VALENTIA and Malin Head coastguard stations have been saved from threatened closure, it was revealed last night.

The Government has bowed to a massive campaign from communities in Donegal and Kerry to reject plans to wind down the bases. Transport Minister Noel Dempsey said €2.5 million will be pumped into a technology upgrade at both sub-centres, as well as the Dublin headquarters.

Reacting, Kerry South TD Tom Sheahan said: “The proposal to shut the coast guard stations was economic folly. It made absolutely no sense to procure new lands to build a new station when existing stations were already functioning.”

Joe McHugh, Fine Gael TD for Donegal North East, said the decision was a victory for the swell of community opposition against plans for the stations to be moved. I’m absolutely delighted... It will mean 17 or 18 jobs saved at each of the stations, but the big one here is that lives will be saved.

Mr McHugh campaigned along with a broad coalition of residents, fishermen and politicians on both sides of the border to save Malin Head in particular, the site of the oldest radio station in Europe.

“From an historical point of view, this is a service that has been provided in Malin for over 100 years, but from another point of view this is a massive victory for the regions,” he said. “For too long now, the whole philosophy in relation to the type of government being rolled out in this country has been centralisation.

“This is a marker that regions will not put up any longer with the downgrading or centralisation of services,” said Mr McHugh.

Mr Dempsey said he considered all views before scrapping proposals to re-site the rescue centres at Drogheda and at another urban location on the west coast.

“Tendering procedures for the necessary radio equipment is at an advanced stage and delivery, and installation of the first Integrated Communication System core in Dublin will be in late 2009 with work at Malin and Valentia to commence in 2010,” said his spokesman.

“This phasing ensures that full national coverage is maintained while development work takes place.”

Malin Head is the world’s oldest maritime radio rescue centre, while Valentia is internationally acknowledged as the location for the original transatlantic cable station which linked Europe and the US.

Tánaiste Mary Coughlan and former junior marine minister Pat “The Cope” Gallagher welcomed the U-turn. Ms Coughlan said she was pleased that the Malin station will remain following much speculation about its future.

Mr Gallagher said: “I’m delighted the Government has taken this very sensible and realistic step.”

Coast guard chiefs had proposed reorganising the service, with new stations at Drogheda and an undecided location in the west — possibly Shannon — replacing Malin, Valentia and the headquarters off Stephen’s Green, Dublin.

A total of 34 jobs were at stake.

Pat bourke
4th December 2008, 15:19
Hi ei6jf, just read this news in the paper. Its great news I'm glad sense prevailed. Delighted for the crews of EJK and EJM. Regards Pat ex R/O.

4th December 2008, 15:42
Yes, great news indeed. With the recent high profile drugs seizures on the coast one would think we need more coastguard stations actually situated on the coast and not less. Instead we seem to have an administration that wants to run all coastguard functions on a remote basis as far from the sea as possible. (MAD)

73s de Mark

Finbar O'Connor
8th December 2008, 21:00
Greetings Gentlemen,

We are very pleased with the outcome of the recent Government
deceision to retain both our station, Malin Head EJM and our
sister station , Valentia EJK.

The support we got was terrific, across such a wide community
base. Very supportive and we feel made a great difference to
the outcome.

We want to thank everyone involved and are attempting to
get this out to the public at large how grateful we are.

We have our EJM Christmas dinner in the Malin Hotel tomorrow
night. We will, for sure, raise a glass ( or two) to all those
who helped.

Best regards
Finbar O'Connor
Malin Head Radio EJM

mr marconi
19th December 2008, 13:35
Finbar Good news for all at Malin I probably met you whilst visiting my old mate Scottie . Hope your xmas do at malin went well .

Regards Adrian D.

Finbar O'Connor
20th December 2008, 20:10
Greetins Adrian,

Thank you very much for the best wishes. I am on duty with Scottie
tonight for a night duty, must get cracking and make up some nosh
for later, whilst on duty.
Yes we had a superb Christmas dinner in the Malin Hotel, plus invited
guests, who were most helpful in our successful campaign to save
EJM and EJK.
We got our Christmas present early this year.....terrific news.

Best regards and seasons greetings

Finbar EJM