Overview of the Civil Defence
The Civil Defence was founded under the terms of the Air-raid Precautions Acts 1939 and the Air-raid Precautions (Amendment) Act, 1946 and Local Government Acts 1941 to 1976 and various statutory instruments. Under this legislation, Civil Defence is empowered to train and conduct exercises for its role in wartime.
The government published a White Paper on Defence [PDF, 6.86MB] in February 2000 which sets out the governments medium term strategy for civil defence covering the period up to 2010.
With the enactment of the Civil Defence Act 2002, the Civil Defence Board has assumed responsibility for Civil Defence at National level. Prior to this, the Civil Defence function at national level was the responsibility of the Minister for Defence and was normally delegated as a specific function to the Minister of State and administered by the Department of Defence. The responsibilities of civil defence at county level are administered by a Designated Officer, the Civil Defence Officer (an employee of the Local Authority) who reports to the director of service of Community and Enterprise.
Clare County Council have created a Major Emergency Plan for the county. The Civil Defence Officer is also a member of the Clare County Council Major Emergency Management Committee and is responsible for ensuring that Civil Defence members are trained in accordance with the organisations responsibilities as outlined in the plan. This training includes:
- Rope/Heights Rescue
- Auxiliary Fire Service
- Radio Communications
- Boat Handling
- Land and Water Search
- Radiation Monitoring
Civil Defence is an organisation in which Irish citizens can give voluntary service within the framework of local and central government structures.
Civil Defence duties include the following:
- Respond to flooding problems
- Respond to environmental problems
- Respond to major emergencies
- Respond to radiological emergencies
- Participate in river, lake and coastal area search and recovery
- Broaden the scope of rescue capability
- Respond to forest fires
Clare Civil Defence trains for and participates in National Exercises which are conducted annually and provides opportunities for large scale exercising of the members, helps to broaden their skills and provides a forum to inject external influence and expertise into the organisation and provide objective assessment of performance. County Clare hosted one such National Exercise in 2004. The County was also victorious at National Exercises in Cork City in 1996 and in Dundalk in 2000.
Page last updated: 10/02/09