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Minister Shatter Welcomes Deployment of the Air Corp to Northern Ireland to Assist With Weather Emergency

Last Tuesday (26/3/2013) Minister Alan Shatter, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, agreed with Minister Michelle O’Neill, Northern Ireland Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, that the Irish Air Corp would provide helicopter assistance to Northern Ireland to address the weather emergency that has arisen and in particular the circumstances of farming stock in areas where there has been heavy snow. In pursuance with those arrangements, today two Air Corps helicopters have been dropping feed in the vicinity of the Mourne mountains in Co. Down. Two RAF Chinook helicopters have also been operating in this area.

Subsequently, this afternoon one of the two Air Corps helicopters was re-deployed to assist the Belfast Coastguard in a search for two climbers who had gone missing in the Limavady area of Co. Derry. The Dublin based Irish Coast Guard helicopter was also involved in this search. Following this search the Air Corp working with the local Mountain Rescue team successfully winched the two people concerned to safety.

If requested by the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture and Rural Development the Air Corps will be deployed again tomorrow.

Minister Shatter said “I am pleased that the Irish Government could be of assistance in addressing the weather emergency that occurred in Northern Ireland and we will provide any further assistance required in the coming days.”


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