Resilience Of SOS DBK Action Group Praised

CLLR John Leahy, Independent General Election candidate, this week commended the resilience of the SOS DBK Action Group and expressed his bitter disappointment at the failure to keep Daingean, Banagher and Kilcormac Fire Stations open.
Cllr Leahy outlined, “The campaign to maintain a full servive at Daingean, Banagher and Kilcormac Fire Stations started back in September 2009. The SOS (Save Our Stations) DBK (Daingean, Banagher, Kilcormac) Action Group was formed back then and they united to tackle the issue.
“I would like to sincerely thank the SOS DBK Action Group for their unity in trying to keep the fire stations open. The Action Group displayed true fighting spirit and their persistent lobbying and resilience ensured the Fire & Emergence Service issue was foremost on the political agenda over the past fourteen months.”
Cllr Leahy added, “At all times, I was vehemently opposed to the proposed closure of the three fire stations and I’ve repeatedly expressed my concerns about response times in the wake of 40% of the fire & emergency services being eliminated in the county.
“I personally believed that a compromise would have been reached throughout the protracted negotiation process that involved County Council Management, public representatives, fire fighters, Union officials and the SOS DBK Action Group.
“The decision taken at the Offaly County Council budgetary meeting represented a severe blow to the communities of Daingean, Banagher and Kilcormac. And by taking such action we’ve lost a vital front line service and I deeply regret that.”
Kilcormac Fire Station was stood down in April 2010 followed by Daingean and Banagher Stations in September 2010 due to health and safety and financial constraints.
Cllr Leahy remarked, “A reduction in Local Authority Funding over the last three years has put a serious strain on County Council funds but nonetheless we need to continue to be vigilant during the difficult economic circumstances we find ourselves in and we must guard against further front line services being hit.”
He concluded, “I, like many other elected members of Offaly County Council, explored every conceivable avenue to bring about a positive resolution to the fire stations issue and I was disappointed none was reached. Fire prevention is and remains central to our daily lives and into the future we’ll have to become more pro-active in relation to fire prevention measures.”

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