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The Coast Guard~ Almost all coastal countries have coast guards. Their boats are impressive and said to be unsinkable! The core values of the coast guard include respect, honor and devotion to duty. The American coast guard was founded in 1790. The coast guard’s motto is Semper Paratus meaning, “always ready”.  

The Irish Coast Guard (Garda Costa) is part of the department of Transport of Ireland. The main roles of the Coast Guard include maritime safety and search and rescue. In case there is any confusion about the Coast Guard and the Navy. They are two different entities; the major differences include: The Navy’s budget is 150 billion dollars, and the Coast guard has a budget of 10 billion dollars. Both huge sums but vastly different also. The Navy is a war fighting force and is a part of the Department of Defense and the Coast guard is a law enforcement and search and rescue branch of the armed forces.

Some of you may remember the five O’Sullivan brothers that died at sea in 1942. They were in the Navy; they were sailors during WW II they were in a battle with the Japanese. They served together for four years. There is a movie about the tragedy called, The Fighting Sullivan’s.

The English water guard formed around 1800 extended to Ireland as part of the United Kingdom & Ireland. When the Irish free state was formed in 1922, Tom Casement (brother of Roger Casement) tried to establish a new Irish Coast Guard. Casement instead became the first inspector of a new Coast Life Saving Service. It was renamed the Coast and Cliff Rescue Service. In the 80’s there were 54 stations and only three with ladders for cliff rescue. There was an investigation by Eamonn Doherty (retired Police commissioner) he recommended transferring responsibility from the Irish Air Corps to a new emergency service. In 2000 the name was changed to the Irish Coast Guard in agreement to the requests of its employees. Unlike Coastguard models in other countries in Ireland it is not part of the Irish Defense Force. The Irish Coastguard is a civilian agency and therefore forbidden from carrying any type of weapon. The personnel include paid employees and volunteers. A volunteer named Caitriona Lucas unfortunately died while on a rescue mission. In 2019 the Irish Coastguard saved 380 lives & assisted in rescuing approximately 3,500 lives. We are lucky to have these men and women. Thank you to the Coastguard for all your effort & work!  

Gaelic for the Month:
Rescue-tarrthail    Boat-bad
Water-uiscu          Ocean-aigean

“We do this job because sometimes someone is out there without hope, desperately praying for their life, and we get to be the answer.” Coastguard

Our dear friend Virginia Gibbons recently moved from Chicago to Washington D.C. and wanted to send a message: “Even though I have relocated to DC I’m still active with the Great Irish book club and the memoir writing sessions and I know the IAHC will make it through the pandemic” xxx  
Questions or comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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