My Department, the Department of Rural and Community Development, has, in the past year, provided an allocation of €448,000 to support Mountain Rescue Ireland organisations with a further €88,000 for 2018.
The funding comprises €360,000 under the CLAR scheme which has been put to use by Mountain Rescue organisations, including Galway Mountain Rescue and Mayo Mountain Rescue, for the replacement of first response and command vehicles and other projects. A further €88,000 has assisted Mountain Rescue Ireland with insurance costs in 2017 and a similar amount has been allocated for this year.
The voluntary work of our mountain rescue teams in essential and helps visitors and locals alike enjoy the outdoors safely.
The MRI annual report shows that mountain rescue teams responding to 272 incidents last year, including 16 in Galway and 42 in Mayo, often in difficult and dangerous conditions. The teams carry out vital work on the frontline which my colleague, Minister Michael Ring and I deeply appreciate and have been able to recognise through the financial support under the CLAR Scheme and the funding to help meet the annual insurance costs.