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airport parking

Probe launched as Civil Defence vehicle left out of use for days after being parked at Shannon

The State-owned vehicle was found parked up in an airport car park.

AN INVESTIGATION HAS been launched by Clare County Council into the alleged use of a State vehicle by a Civil Defence member for their personal transport. 

Sources said that the vehicle had been parked up at Shannon Airport for several days as a Civil Defence member travelled abroad. 

The Journal has seen photos of the vehicle parked at the airport and has confirmed that the vehicle is owned by the State.

These images of the vehicle seen by this website were taken between Saturday and Monday evening. 

Last September an investigation launched by the gardaí into the use of an unmarked garda car to travel to Dublin Airport to catch a flight. A probe into that incident was launched in the wake of media coverage.

Following contact from The Journal in recent days the Civil Defence vehicle was moved from its parking spot in Shannon Airport. Clare County Council has said it is now available for operational use.

A spokesperson for the Department of Defence (DOD) confirmed that the matter had been referred to Clare County Council, which has responsibility for the use of the car.

A spokesperson for Clare County Council said that the matter was “under review”.

“We can confirm that the vehicle was parked at Shannon Airport as alleged.”

“The vehicle has been transported to the Civil Defence Headquarters in Ennis and is available for operational use by Civil Defence. This matter is under review,” the spokesperson said. 

Photographs of the vehicle taken at Shannon Airport showed that the vehicle did not have official decals on it. 

A spokesperson for the DOD said there were strict rules on the use of such vehicles, and that they must be marked with the official livery.

“Civil Defence Circular 8/2015 issued by the Department of Defence, deals with the use and marking of Civil Defence Vehicles. 

“Civil Defence vehicles may only be used for official purposes.  These vehicles should not be used for private purposes. 

“The circular states that Civil Defence Officers should not use official vehicles for routine travel from home to their place of work,” the spokesperson said. 

The DOD said that “all Civil Defence vehicles must be permanently marked with the words ‘Civil Defence’ and ‘Cosaint Shibhialta’ prominently displayed on the sides and the front of the vehicle”.

The Civil Defence is under DOD control but is operated day-to-day by the local authority in each council area. The spokesperson referred the matter to Clare County Council on that basis.

“The local authority has responsibility for the day to day operations within their respective local authority area and Civil Defence Officers are employees of the local authority. 

“Each local authority confirms annually that resources which are grant funded by the Department of Defence for Civil Defence, are available for that purpose and not used for any other purpose,” the spokesperson said. 

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