Plans unveiled for National Services Day

Date Published : August 21st, 2021    Published By : admin

Commemoration services, exhibitions and events are being planned as part of ‘National Services Day’ on September 4th.

The special day is in recognition of the tireless work, commitment and dedication of the work carried out by those in the entire emergency, frontline and voluntary services sector across Ireland. There are thought to be almost thirty services being recognised under the banner of National Services Day.

Band of Services at Trinity College, Dublin ahead of a Gala Dinner in 2018. Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times

A parade of light, an art exhibition and a special commemoration were announced as part of the celebrations planned for the day. At Dawn on Saturday 4th September, the National Ambulance Service will lead a convoy of almost 150 ‘blue-light’ vehicles on a silent 10km parade in Dublin. The ‘Parade of Light’ will pass hospitals, garda, fire and ambulance stations and prisons along its route before finishing outside Dublin Castle.

Sirens are not permitted during the ‘Parade of Light’.

Art and Photographic exhibition

Another event which is hoped to capture the eyes of the nation is an art ad photographic exhibition at the Printworks at Dublin Castle. The combined exhibition will feature paintings and photos from the various services in their operational capacity over the past 18 months. The theme of the exhibition is ‘Frontline personnel at work during the pandemic.’  The exhibition opened yesterday and will run until August 28th.

Emergency Times is privileged to have been invited to submit some of our own photos for the exhibition.

Mark Callanan, Community Engagement Officer with the National Ambulance Service told RTÉ News, ‘There is a fantastic array of both collaboration and innovation across all of our frontline services, and its captured very well in these photos. One of the photos is the innovative approach the National Ambulance Service took. We put a dedicated team out on what we term ‘Covid Response’.

NAS Community Engagement Officer Mark Callanan. Pic: Courtesy RTÉ News

In the afternoon of September 4th, a commemoration service will be held at Collins Barracks. Current guidelines and restrictions on the day will be adhered to for outdoor events.

Socially distant commemorative ceremony held at Collins Barracks, Dublin last year. Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times

Various other regional events are being held around the country to mark National Services Day. Events which are being planned for Cork, Galway, Monaghan and Wexford are being coordinated by NAS Community Engagement Manager Ger O’Dea and Community Engagement Officers including Mark Callanan, Liam Stewart, Amanda Ross and Jonathan Lynch.

Prior to the now official National Services Day, it all started back in September 2014 as an ‘Emergency, Voluntary and Security Services Open Day’ at Kilmainham in Dublin before moving to Trinity College the year after and then to Dublin Castle yo to 2018.

Dublin Fire Brigade carrying out an exhibition at Trinity College, Dublin as part of 'Emergency Services Open Day' in 2015.

Dublin Fire Brigade Phibsboro Crew in 2015. Front: L-R: SO Richard Elliot, FF Sean McDonnell, FF Dermot O’ Reilly, FF Keith Wilson, 3rd Officer John Keogh.
Back: L-R: A/District Officer Peter Bassicsale, FF Jonathan Forbes, FF Ken Devine, FF Ger Corcoran, FF Dave McLoughlin, Sub Offcer Richard Murphy.
Pic: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times


Every year, the event is led and coordinated by FESSEF – Frontline Emergency and Security Services Éire Forum, with FESSEF Chairman Seamus O’Neill steering the cause and supported every year since by Emergency Times.

Thankfully, Seamus' year-on-year endeavors and pleas to Government to dedicate the first Saturday in September as a ‘National Services Day’ were listened to and granted and National Services Day officially announced in 2018 with every year gathering more pace in terms of additional events and services being added to the list.

FESSEF Chairperson Seamus O'Neill. Pic Courtesy RTÉ News.

Speaking to RTÉ News last night, FESSEF Chairperson Seamus O’Neill said “Those that have really brought this country through the crisis have been workers on the front line and this is way of paying homage to them. We'll pay tribute to all those who died during Covid, especially members of the frontline service who died and who are currently sick because of Covid-19.”

Declan Keogh, Editor of EmergencyTimes.ie said “From the outside looking in, the work, efforts, challenges and achievements undertaken and experienced by so many people from so many services who make up our frontline, emergency, medical, voluntary, security, search and rescue services, and many more besides, should never be underestimated, undervalued or overlooked. These people, from whatever service they are in, have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months as part of a national effort in the fight against Covid-19 in particular, and will continue to give the same level of services when this pandemic has passed.”

Declan Keogh, Editor, Emergency Times.

Owen Medland, RNLI said ‘all services have been hindered by Covid-19 but everyone is looking forward to coming together the 27 state and voluntary services and people that come together for National Services Day on the first Saturday in September.’

RNLI's Owen Medland speaking to RTÉ News

Stay in touch with what’s happening for National Services Day by following them on Facebook and Instagram @NationalServicesDay and on Twitter @NatServicesDay or on the website nationalservicesday.ie – Emergency Times will be promoting #NSD2021 in the lead-up to and during National Services Day.

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