500,000 visitors expected for Tall Ships

KILKENNY will play a pivotal role in the traffic management plan for the South East with two park and ride facilities located in the area.

KILKENNY will play a pivotal role in the traffic management plan for the South East with two park and ride facilities located in the area.

Land at Ferrybank will be used to accommodate tourists and visitors that will descend on the South East for what will be a historic event. A Major Emergency Management Conference was held at the Newpark Hotel last Wednesday when Chief Superintendent PV Murphy unveiled plans for the Tall Ships which will take place in Waterford in June and July.

Up to 300 gardai from the SouthEast will be involved in the Tall Ships and risk areas that have been identified include crowd management control, traffic management control, river management control, fireworks control and criminal damage control.

Over a hundred members of An Garda Siochana, the Fire Services, the Ambulance Service, the Defence Forces and civil servants attended the event which was hosted by Chairman of the South East Major Emergency Management Regional Working Group, Superintendent Michael Nevin.

County Manager Joe Crockett, who was instrumental in setting up a framework document and is a member of the national steering group gave a regional and national overview and praised the local response and community efforts in dealing with emergencies. He thanked the emergency services and the local authorities adding that without their actions and intervention ‘things could have been a thousand times worse’. He added that extreme weather conditions were likely to occur again in the future and remarked that other potential emergencies including incidents involving hazordous materials or a major motorway incident.

National Director for Fire and Emergency Management, Mr Sean Hogan also gave an overview of the Framework Structure and told the conderence that the SouthEast region has five upper tier major hazard sites and is expecting that a sixth one will be announced shortly. Chief Fire Officer with County Carlow Mr Gerard Guerin outlined the various exercises. A number of speakers spoke on Severe Weather and Community Resilience including Mr Dan McInerney on behalf of the local authority, Mr Pat O’Riordan for the HSE and Chief Superintendent Michael McGarry.