1468. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason the Casa Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Casa CN235, was not dispatched when top cover was originally requested on the night of 13 March 2017 which led to the Rescue 116 helicopter being dispatched in its place; the change in circumstances which allowed CN235 to be dispatched later that same night in view of the earlier unavailability of the Air Corps rescue service; the investigations his department is making into the matter; when the findings of such an investigation will be reported to Dáil Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19827/17 asked on 02 May 2017 - Air Corps Operations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Irish Coast Guard, which operates under the aegis of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, has overall responsibility for the provision of Search and Rescue services within the Irish search and rescue region. The Coast Guard search and rescue services can request the support of the Air Corps on an ‘as available’ basis under a Service Level Agreement between the Department of Defence and the Department of Transport...