3. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason the Civil Defence was stood down when the red weather level report came into effect for County Longford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11502/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018)
Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Department of Defence is charged with the management and development of Civil Defence at national level. The Department provides policy direction, centralised training through the Civil Defence College, administrative support and guidance and centralised procurement of major items of uniform and equipment in support of local authority Civil Defence efforts. Civil Defence is funded by way of a grant from the Defence Vote. Funding for Civil Defence operations at local level is shared on a 70/30 basis between the Department of Defence and local authorities by way of an annual grant to each authority.
Civil Defence services are delivered through the Civil Defence Officer (CDO) of the relevant Local Authority for that area. The CDO is a full time employee of the local authority and is responsible for the day-to-day management of Civil Defence matters under the overall direction of the relevant Chief Executive of the local authority.
It is a matter for each local authority, in this case Longford County Council, to decide when to deploy their Civil Defence Unit. The Department of Defence does not have a role in these decisions. I understand that a number of other local authorities stood down their Civil Defence Units for short periods during the recent severe weather.