Date Published : December 29th, 2018 Published By : adminMícheál Ó Muircheartaigh has praised volunteers in organisations across the emergency and voluntary spectrum for their endless work and commitments throughout the years.
From the Irish Coast Guard, RNLI, Cliff and Mountain Rescue to the Civil Defence, Order of Malta, Irish Red Cross, St. John Ambulance and Community First Responders; thousands of people volunteer their time and expertise in voluntary services to support the frontline emergency and medical services daily.
Speaking to EmergencyTimes.com is his native Kerry recently, Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh told Declan Keogh of the value of volunteering and how much communities appreciate the work they do.
“I’m around long enough now to understand what volunteering means to the country, what it means to big communities, small communities. I know a lot about these services, and whenever a huge emergency or any type of emergency emerges, they come. And its commented on regularly how quick they get there and the great work they do. People appreciate that work. They are delighted to have them near them, in the vicinity of their community and how they are always willing and very well able to perform their duties. They’re a very valuable asset to any community, to any country.”
Over the years many of the services have changed and evolved, and while some have either expanded or decreased, but among them all, their ethos and good will has never changed. Volunteering takes a certain kind of person, a willing, able and kind person to give up their time for someone else.
Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh speaking to Declan Keogh in Kerry. Photo Emergency Times
Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh recounted the many Sunday mornings he arrived at Croke Park for big game or an All-Ireland final, and from 8.30am or 9am, watching them all come in, taking their places, receiving their instructions and making sure everyone was all set for the big day.
“To be in there in the early mornings, seeing the hundreds of volunteers come through the gates of Croke Park from very early on, receiving their instructions and posts from either a Senior Garda or the Chief Steward, and every one of them would have their chores to do as the day goes on, and as I sit in my own little corner, I am amazed that without all these people who are volunteers, it simply wouldn’t function without them and I don’t think that that gets enough promotion, publicity or recognition as it should” he said.
“Seeing the need for change from time to time and other aspects, that’s what gives the real test to associations, and I must say, these organisations are quick to seeing the need for being better, for being bigger, for learning more about how to deal with situations, and how to assist the frontline services in any way they can, and they do that regularly and that’s the way they operate and long may it continue.”
“Volunteerism keeps the country going, it creates communities out of small places and big places. On this day next year, or no matter who wins or loses the All-Ireland or anything else, may we all be alive and well and looking forward to another year.”
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