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City lifesaving patrols secure a new sponsor


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

City lifesaving patrols secure a new sponsor City lifesaving patrols secure a new sponsor

Claddagh Watch river patrols have received a major funding boost ahead of launching its new ‘Get Home Safe’ campaign later this summer.

The charity has signed a five-year sponsorship deal with on-street parking services provider, UTS Technologies which Claddagh Watch Founder, Arthur Carr, says will enable them to enhance their efforts to improve safety along the city’s waterways.

“This is huge for us,” said Mr Carr. “They have committed to a partnership for five years which means we can plan for various different things over each of those years.”

The funding this year will be used, in part, to provide uniforms for the around 80 Claddagh Watch volunteers who go out in all weathers to keep a watchful eye on the rivers and canals in the city centre.

And later this year, Mr Carr said they will be launching their ‘Get Home Safe’ campaign in response to what is the most common risk to life on the waterways.

“Over the first three months of this year, we have been involved with an average of two incidents every night and have dealt with about 500 incidents since we started five years ago – and we have never lost anyone yet,” he said.

The cases dealt with by Claddagh Watch do involve members of the public going through mental health crises, but the vast majority of its response is to those at risk of accidentally falling into the water.

“You get a lot of people who have been separated from friends, or who may have had a row with their partner, and they can become lost or not knowing where they are and end up by the water.

“That is what our new campaign will be about, encouraging people to make sure their friends get home safely. We’ll be putting signs in public toilets and around the city,” said Mr Carr.

The funding partnership with UTS supported Claddagh Watch’s continued work in this area, he added.

UTS is headed up by Glenamaddy man, Seán Brogan, who described the work of Claddagh Watch as ‘inspiring’.

“The visible presence throughout the city of the group’s volunteers on the bridges at nighttime is a stark reminder of both the dangers that the River Corrib presents as it flows through the city and of the vulnerability of people in their times of trouble.

“We have been so impressed listening to the stories of how the group has helped in guiding and supporting the emergency services to those who need them,” said Mr Brogan.

Chairperson of Claddagh Watch, Cllr Níall McNelis, said the funding made available by UTS would enable them to properly kit-out their volunteers and provide them with the lifesaving equipment they need to continue their work.

“I cannot overstate the difference that it will make to the service that we can offer. We are constantly looking to professionalise and make incremental changes to our service to ensure we constantly improve our standards,” he said.

Pictured at the announcement of sponsorship for Claddagh Watch by UTS Technologies were (from left): Sean Brogan, CEO UTS Technologies; Arthur Carr, Founder, Claddagh Watch; Oliva D’Arcy, COO UTS Technologies; and Cllr Niall McNeilis, Chairman Claddagh Watch.

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