DOJ awards two local search and rescue services thousands for ‘life-saving’ work

Justice Minister David Ford takes the helm of the Lough Neagh Rescue lifeboat with coxswain Paul Magee. Picture: Michael Cooper
Justice Minister David Ford takes the helm of the Lough Neagh Rescue lifeboat with coxswain Paul Magee. Picture: Michael Cooper

Two Mid Ulster search and rescue services have been awarded a chunk of £90,000 the Department of Justice (DOJ) had to help nine voluntary groups operating in Northern Ireland.

Lough Neagh Rescue has been granted £6,610 from the pot, while North West Mountain Rescue Team will get £21,000 in 2016-17.

Minister of State at the Department for Transport Robert Goodwill MP enjoys a welcome "cuppa" as members of the Lough Neagh Rescue crew give him a run down of the workings of their rescue vessel

Minister of State at the Department for Transport Robert Goodwill MP enjoys a welcome "cuppa" as members of the Lough Neagh Rescue crew give him a run down of the workings of their rescue vessel

The Department of Justice took on the responsibility of allocating available funds to voluntary search and rescue groups on April 1, 2015.

To decided on the level of funding for each group, the DOJ sought bids from all nine organisations listed in the search and rescue practitioners group.

Justice Minister, David Ford said: “In recent months, I have visited many of these groups and have been hugely impressed by their professionalism and proficiency as they undertake their life-saving role.

“The devotion and commitment by team members is evident through the 365 days a year service they provide in close partnership with the statutory agencies.

“I am pleased to confirm that, despite current financial pressures, my department will maintain the level of funding provided last year. This is nearly double the grant which was paid in 2014 before the Department of Justice took responsibility.

“While this funding will go some way to assist groups to carry out their important work, they can only survive with voluntary contributions. I would encourage the community to continue to support these groups with their local fundraising activities.”

Who gets what?

Community Rescue Service £21,972

Irish Cave Rescue Organisation £9,241

North West Mountain Rescue Team £21,000

Lough Neagh Rescue £6,610

Foyle Search and Rescue £3,157

Search and Rescue Dog Association £12,700

Mourne Mountain Rescue Team £10,900

Skywatch £3,500

Lagan Search and Rescue £1,800

Total £90,880