Over 400 Defence Forces members come to aid of State services

Large 6x6 trucks to assist ESB, jeeps used to ferry midwives

Photograph: Irish Defence Forces Twitter

Photograph: Irish Defence Forces Twitter

 

Over 400 members of the Defence Forces were involved in a range of tasks helping the emergency services, health and power supply staff throughout the country on Friday.

Some 155 vehicles were used, including large 6x6 trucks to assist ESB engineers and technicians restore power in the Carrigaline, south of Cork city.

In Dublin, 4x4 jeeps were used to ferry midwives and other essential healthcare staff from their homes to maternity hospitals in the Coombe and Holles Street. In Naas and Newbridge, Co Kildare, the Defence Forces ploughed routes for ambulances.

Troops in Kildare also helped to clear the entrances to post offices, clinics and nursing homes.

In Longford, and more generally in several locations, notably in Cork, Defence Force vehicles were used to bring hospice nurses to palliative care patients in their homes and many dialysis patients were also brought from their homes to renal units.

Support was also given to gardaí and fire service personnel in Cork.

In Athlone, troops became involved in helping deliver meals on wheels to people in need of nutritional support as well as simple human contact.

Yesterday’s tasks follows two days of growing support being delivered by the Defence Forces at the request of local authorities, the garda and the Health Service Executive.

Defence Force activities during the crisis are being co-ordinated from headquarters in McKee Barracks in Dublin, in liaison with 1 Brigade in Cork, 2 Brigade in Dublin and the Defence Forces Training College at the Curragh, Co Kildare.

The Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, yesterday praised the men and women under his command saying he was “very proud” of all that they were doing.