Dissolving Civil Defence Board will save €60,000, says Minister


Legislation to dissolve the Civil Defence Board and transfer its functions back to the Department of Defence will save €60,000, the Dáil has heard.

Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe said the Civil Defence Bill 2012 would bring the management, development and administration of the Civil Defence at national level back into the department, where it was when the organisation was founded in 1950. The move is part of current Government policy to “bring the functions of many State agencies back to their parent departments”.

Mr Kehoe stressed, however, that the Bill would not alter the Civil Defence’s fundamental structures. He said they would maintain current funding for the organisation at €5.585 million despite reduced funding to almost all other State bodies.

Fianna Fáil defence spokesman Seán Ó Fearghail said because it was a period of retrenchment and given the “plethora of agencies in existence”, his party was prepared to support the proposal to bring the agency back within the department.

Sinn Féin spokesman Pádraig MacLochlainn said €60,000 in savings was “not to be sniffed at” but there was no point enacting the legislation to save this amount “if the lack of expertise on the previous board becomes an issue”. He said his party would examine the legislation to ensure expertise was not lost in the restructuring.