Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Cllr Shane P O’Reilly, was joined by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD on Monday evening to officially open the new €1.7 million Virginia Fire Station.
Fully funded by the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management at the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government, the new station features two appliance bays, a drill yard and tower, training rooms, BA room and modern changing facilities.
Cllr O’Reilly spoke of his experience as a local representative, noting the professionalism of the Virginia Fire Brigade over the years, and expressed his delight that they now had a suitable headquarters.
“I would like to commend all the staff in Cavan County Council and Cavan County Fire Service, past and present, who have worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition over the years and I thank Patrick and crew – and those who have served before them – for their dedication and professionalism and wish you many happy years in your new home,” he said.
Minister Humphreys praised staff past and present, as well as the local community for keeping the new station on the agenda, and said the Government would always support worthy projects.
Chief Executive of Cavan County Council Tommy Ryan said the new station fulfilled a key strategic goal for the local authority, “A key strategic objective outlined in Cavan County Council’s Corporate Plan is supporting Safety in the Community through the provision of a reliable, responsive and adequately resourced fire service, and this €1.7 million investment by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government through the Fire Services Capital Programme helps us achieve that goal.”
Chief Fire Officer Noel O’Reilly Paris tribute to the work of his predecessor Noel Burke, and spoke of plans to complete the modernisation of Cavan’s Fire Stations through the completion of Ballyjamesduff Fire Station.
Station Officer Patrick Farrelly said the new station was a “dream come true” for the eight-person crew, soon to be nine-strong, following a recruitment process.
At the official opening, the Fire Service also presented 1916 centenary medals to retired and serving firefighters and officers who were in service in 2016. Special presentations were also made to the families of Station Officer Patrick O’Reilly (Cavan Town) and Firefighter Donal Kelly (Killeshandra), who sadly passed since 2016.