Carlow's Civil Defence receives the lowest amount of Government funding across the country

New figures have revealed

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

news@carlowlive.ie

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Carlow's Civil Defence receives the lowest amount of Government funding across the country, new figures have revealed. 

Social Democrats TD, Catherine Murphy, asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if his attention has been drawn to instances in which branches of the Civil Defence are unable to fulfil their role or provide service due to a lack of resources. 

In a written response, the Minister of State at the Department of Defence, Paul Kehoe, said: "Civil Defence training and operations are funded by a combination of annual operational grants from my Department and a contribution from the relevant local authority on a 70/30 basis.

"It is at the discretion of the Local Authority to provide additional funding over and above the required 30%. The 70% rate is set down in Section 35 of the Air Raid Precautions Act, 1939."

The Minister published figures on amount provided in annual operational grants to each local authority in 2017 and 2018.

They revealed that in 2017, Carlow's Civil Defence operations received €44,845 from central Government in annual operations grants - which was the lowest amount received by any county across the country. 

In 2018, that figure had reduced to €42,392 - which was again the lowest grant nationwide. 

Minister Kehoe added: "The grant is calculated based on a standard formula.

"Additional grants, subject to budgetary resources within my Department, may also be provided to a local authority, on consideration of an application or request, towards the purchase of vehicles and/or equipment for use by Civil Defence personnel.

"In 2017, local authorities received €679,199 under this heading. The corresponding figure for 2018 was €478,802.

"My Department officials are in regular contact with Civil Defence Officers and Assistant Civil Defence Officers within Local Authorities.

"I am not aware of any instance where Civil Defence units were unable to fulfil their role or provide services due to a lack of financial resources in 2018 or to date in 2019.

"In a broader context, I commenced a review of the roles and activities of Civil Defence in September 2018 with a view to setting out a shared vision for the organisation over the next 10 to 15 years.

"Separately the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is currently carrying out a Spending Review of Civil Defence. 

"Any adjustment to the supports to Local Authorities for Civil Defence purposes will be informed by the outcome of these reviews and future budget allocations."

A full breakdown of the figures is available here.