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Civil Defence School, Ratra House                                            23 November 2005

Secretary General, Chairman and Members of the Civil Defence Board, Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to be here today for the official launch of the Civil Defence Board’s Strategic Plan to 2007.  Today’s launch comes about as a result of two years hard work by the Board and its Committees and it is good to see so many Board members and former Board members present here today – you are all very welcome and I’d like to thank all of you for your input to this Plan.
The main focus of this Plan will be to meet the requirements of Civil Defence and those of its stakeholders in positioning the organisation for the future and thereby to allow it to realise its maximum potential.
The document includes some excellent illustrations of volunteers engaged in some of the many Civil Defence activities.   It should not be forgotten that Civil Defence is a volunteer-based organisation and that all volunteer members give freely of their time to acquire skills that will be vital to the local community in times of need.  Acquiring these skills involves many hours of training and it is this selflessness and dedication that once again demonstrates the wonderful volunteer ethos that is at the very core of the Civil Defence organisation in Ireland.
I note that the Actions Section of the document covers four pages, so I have no doubt that the Board and staff will be very busy over the next couple of years working to ensuring the implementation of all of its objectives.   Civil Defence in Ireland has had an outstanding record of service over many years.   I believe that implementing this Plan will help to make a good Organisation even better, and I would like to wish the Board and the membership continued success in the future.
Finally, I am very pleased to note that the new Civil Defence Headquarters in Roscrea will be ready for occupation early next year – hopefully before the end of January.  The new premises will include state-of-the-art training facilities and I am very much looking forward to seeing these for myself and meeting some Civil Defence instructors and volunteers when I visit your New Headquarters early in 2006.
Finally I’d like to thank everyone involverd for the hard work that they have put into drawing up this Plan.
Thank you very much.

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