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Ministers Gormley and Finneran announce new central arrangements for the promotion and delivery Fire and Emergency Services

Press release June 22, 2009 Politics

Mr. John Gormley, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, and Mr. Michael Finneran TD, Minister for Housing and Local Services today (22nd June 2009) announced the establishment of a new National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management.

The new Directorate will be responsible for ensuring high quality and standards in fire services across the country.

Under the new system, responsibility for the day-to-day operation of fire services will remain with the local authorities. However the new directorate will develop national policies and standards to be implemented by the services at a local level.

The Directorate will be an open and transparent system  which will engage with all the relevant stakeholders and will be open to suggestions and guidance from the various stakeholders.

The new arrangements are intended to put in place a solid management structure at central government level with a clear mandate and visibility to develop national policy and drive consistent achievement of value for money services by local authorities, while not interfering with existing and appropriate political accountability.

 "The establishment of the National Directorate now is intended to address conclusively the main Farrell Grant Sparks recommendation on revised institutional arrangements at central Government level" said Minister Gormley.

The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management will be a tri-partite structure with a Management Board, a Consultative Committee and a National Director who will lead the Department Section.  The three components will operate as inter-dependent elements of a functioning National Directorate.

"The creation of the new Directorate is intended to build on the strong linkage between local and central Government for the development, rollout and monitoring of programmes and initiatives for the delivering of a top class fire service" said the Minister.

"The National Directorate will have the mandate, the visibility and the wherewithal to the job required, with appropriate political accountability through my Department's direct participation" said the Minister.  The Department will have the key policy and standards role supported by and interacting with the local government system at operational level, with oversight and implementation being driven through the Management Board and Consultative Committee components.

The Management Board will provide for integration of different strands of service management, with appropriate external members to balance it.
It will establish priorities, support policy-making and oversee consistent implementation of nationally-determined priorities and policies.

Management Board Membership

Chair
Mr. David J. O"Callaghan

Members
Mr. John Tierney City Manager Dublin City Council
Mr. Martin Riordan County Manager Cork County Council
Ms. Martina Maloney County Manager Galway County Council
Mr. Ned O"Connor  County Manager South Tipperary County Council
Mr. Joe Crockett County Manager Kilkenny County Council
Mr. Conn Murray County Manager Louth County Council
Mr. Michael Raftery Chief Fire Officer Galway County Council
Mr. Brian Sweeney Chief Officer Strathclyde Fire and Rescue
Service
Mr. Pat Corcoran IIF Committee Chair Irish Insurance
Federation
Mr. Brian Spain Principal Officer Office of Emergency
Planning
Mr. Des Dowling Assistant Secretary DOEHLG
Mr. Se├ín Hogan Fire Adviser DOEHLG


The Consultative Committee will provide a forum for representation/consultation with stakeholder interests.  The Consultative Committee membership will reflect the core business areas of the Directorate and is still under consideration.

Contacts


Sean Dunne

Press-Office
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
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