AFTER more than two decades, the volunteers of Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery have found a home they can call their own.
The voluntary organisation, which works all year around to support the gardaí and coast guard, has been given a premises on Horgan’s Quay. Volunteers had been campaigning for a suitable home, and Port of Cork Company has now provided a premises to the group.
The rescue group’s secretary David Varian said it was a very happy day for the volunteers.
“This is our 22nd year of providing a service to the people of Cork, and we finally have a place that we can call home, and store our equipment, look after all our volunteers, and more importantly, when families of missing persons come to us, we will now have a place we can bring them, and sit down comfortably and talk,” Mr Varian said.
“We can be out on the water in all weather, sometimes for days on end, and these new premises will mean we will be able to get a hot shower afterwards, and clean our equipment and store it safely.
“But the most important thing to us will be that we can give people a bit of dignity on the worst days of the lives.”
Mr Varian said the rescue service was delighted that the Port of Cork Company had provided it with a premises, and he thanked local politicians for making representations on their behalf.
He thanked Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central, Pádraig O’Sullivan, for involving Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath, who he said had made the initial request to the port company on its behalf.
Mr McGrath told The Echo he was thrilled for the volunteers.
“There is extraordinary goodwill and support among the people of Cork for Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery, because of the incredible work that they do in the darkest hours that families never hope to experience,” he said.
“I’ve only ever heard positive feedback about the work they do, and how supportive they are of families in search of their loved ones, and I want to pay tribute to the Port of Cork, and Cork City Council, for the role that they played in providing and securing this premises.”
Mr O’Sullivan said it was great that the volunteers had secured a premises, and noted that it was hoped that they would eventually be relocated to a more suitable, permanent home when the dockland development was completed.
Port of Cork Company chief commercial officer Conor Mowlds said it had been very happy to refurbish and provide the free use of the premises.
“This is just a small token of appreciation for the incredible work and support it has given to so many families down through the years,” Mr Mowlds said.
Cork City Council assistant chief executive Brian Geaney said he was delighted the rescue service had found a premises.
“It’s great news, and it means they can continue to the important work they do on behalf of the citizens of Cork, and we look forward to working with them in the future and wish them all the best in their endeavours,” Mr Geaney said.