KCLR NewsNews & Sport

South Kilkenny Councillor Pat Dunphy says removing the South East rescue helicopter service would be catastrophic

There are fears that the South East’s rescue helicopter service could be withdrawn.

The air asset of the Irish Coast Guard is based in Waterford and provides cover to the whole region, including assisting other on-land groupings.

In December it emerged that the Government was seeking a new operator for the search and rescue services provided around the country.

Concerns were raised as the tender details were for three bases-one less than the four currently in operation.

A final decision is due to be made on the tender by this March.

South Kilkenny Cllr Pat Dunphy says taking the provision away from the South East could have a catastrophic result:

“There’s a huge population in the South East and that helicopter would cover maybe a population of 700 thousand people. We see it all the time, we hear of it being helpful in rescue situations almost every week”. And yet if we have to depend on a rescue helicopter to come from Cork or Dublin or wherever it will be, that’s going to take too long. It will be too late”