I call on the Government to continue to engage with Retained Firefighters to find a workable solution to the pay and conditions issues affecting the service or otherwise face the prospect of industrial action.

“I understand that whilst some small progress was made with the recommendations of the WRC it does not address the pay issues between the Fire fighters Service and the Local Government Management Association (LGMA)”.

This is disappointing for the firefighters and leaves the country on the brink of Industrial/Strike action which the members of the service have already voted on.

There has been great investment in new fire stations in Tuam, Athenry and Loughrea which is providing modern facilities for the fire service.

However nationally the fire service is undermanned to dangerous levels and continues to lose experienced fire fighters and recruitment is very poor due to the poor renumeration and Work /Life balance that the job demands.

The tragedy in Creeslough last year highlighted the very important work, dedication, passion and caring commitment of the fire service and we need to demonstrate public commitment to the service.

“The fact is that the model upon which the current service is operating was introduced in the 1950s and is not a Fit for Purpose in today’s modern work environment”.

“I am hopeful that the Minister with responsibility for the fire Service Dara O Brien TD will try to find a way forward in conjunction with his colleagues in Government. I raised the issue in a Dáil debate last year and the Minister assured the Dáil that he is aware of the situation and that he would work to find a solution”.

“I am calling on Government to support the Minister in finding a solution to resolve the pay and conditions issues to ensure this vital service remains functional and that the Retained Fire Service workers are recognised the rewarded for the great work they carry out in all types of conditions”.

“It is also very important that the job of the retained Firefighter is an attractive option for young people so that the service can remain functional”.