Kieran Mulvey appointed to mediate in Doolin Coast Guard dispute

Kieran Mulvey agreed to cooperate in mediating a dispute within the Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard, following a number of resignations in the unit due to interpersonal issues.

Co Clare’s unit was withdrawn from search and rescue services earlier this month, after six involved volunteers resigned from their roles.

The Department of Transportation, which oversees the Coast Guard, confirmed Wednesday that Mr. Mulvey, the former director general of the Labor Relations Commission, “has agreed to help in mediation with the Doolin Coast Guard.”

A department spokesman said “it is important that we now give space and allow this process to take place to re-operate the unit”.

The string of resignations has arisen following growing interpersonal disputes in recent years in the unit, as well as complaints with Coast Guard management.

Tensions within the Coast Guard between management and people’s volunteers and officers have become a growing problem for the organization in recent years.

The Doolin unit was hit in 2016 by the loss of their colleague Caitríona Lucas, who died tragically while involved in a search for a missing man in Kilkee.

That incident, a subsequent Marine Casualty Investigation Board report into her death that was critical of security systems and the subsequent reaction of the Irish Coast Guard reportedly contributed to growing tensions within the organization in recent years.


Senior Coast Guard officials and the department are due to appear before Oireachtas transport commission on Thursday.

Deirdre O’Keeffe, assistant secretary general in the department, is expected to tell the Oireachtas commission that the recent “disharmony” within the Doolin unit has been addressed.

The Coast Guard’s headquarters and local administration “have worked tirelessly to address the problems experienced in this unit, and will continue to do so, to restore service in the area as quickly as possible,” she will say.

Ms. O’Keeffe must tell politicians that mediation is being set up for those involved with the unit “on an urgent basis,” according to her initial statement.

Eugene Clonan, interim Director of the Coast Guard, is expected to outline that rescue teams responded to 2,636 incidents last year.

Loss of life

In 391 cases, the Coast Guard believed it had provided assistance that prevented the loss of life or serious injury to people, he must tell the committee.

Mr Clonan is expected to state that tragic accidents in recent years have been difficult for the organization.

“We mourn the loss of close and esteemed colleagues and friends. I would like to take this opportunity to extend once again our sympathy to the families of R116 and Bernard Lucas and family. We are also obliged to honor their memories by delivering world-class search and rescue, sea casualties and a responsible service of pollution, ”he must state.

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