17 May 2022

WATCH: Limerick charity's hunt for base raised in Dáil

A CALL has been made for council to step up and provide a base to a Limerick charity to help it carry out its vital work.

On a number of days a week, trained volunteers from Limerick Treaty Suicide Prevention (LTSP) carry out patrols of the banks of the River Shannon in a bid to help anyone in distress.

But since January, the group has been on the hunt for a base after its one-year lease at John's Street expired.

Now, Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan has called on the local authority to do all in its power to establish a location for local volunteer groups like these

"Too often late at night or early in the morning the sound of the helicopter propellers is heard over the River Shannon. Too often this the signal that another life has been lost to suicide. This sound would be ever more familiar if it was not for the selfless work of the brave volunteers of our riverside suicide prevention teams," said the City TD.

"These teams should have a base available to them as a priority. As it stands, life saving and expensive equipment is either carried by the volunteers or stored in near by cars. Should the volunteer storing the equipment be unable to make it on a particular night, there is a scramble to ensure that the equipment can be transferred," Mr Quinlivan argued.

He pledged to continue to push until a space is afforded to the suicide prevention teams in Limerick.

Meanwhile, the matter was raised directly with An Taoiseach Micheál Martin in Dáil Éireann this week.

Aontu TD Peadar Tóibín asked: "There are countless council-owned vacant properties in Limerick so would it not be possible to get one of those buildings or a State building in use for that purpose as soon as possible?"

In response, Mr Martin commended the work of LTSP, but added: "The council would be best placed to identify premises that may be available and could be adapted for use by the team there. That is what normally happens across the country."

Limerick City and County Council has been contacted for comment.

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