I was shocked by the video footage of a swimmer being rescued from a raging sea at Sandycove, as the country was battered by Storm Emma and the Beast from the East last week.
Such reckless behaviour, by the swimmer, during a status-red weather alert, endangering her own life, as well as the lives of her rescuers and, potentially, the voluntary and emergency services, causes the mind to boggle.
The National Emergency Coordinating Group (NECG), under the chairmanship of Séan Hogan, gave an unequivocal directive to people to remain indoors and to avoid risk last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The emergency and voluntary services, locally and nationally, did a great job. The decisive central and regional leadership, before, during, and after the storms, the regular media updates, the good advice, and the emphasis on safety were very reassuring.
During the storms, Ireland Inc donned the green jersey.
The wind and snow were met with resilience and defiance. In the face of adversity, we witnessed a country, and its people, at its magnificent and patriotic best.
Emma and the Beast brought out the best in us.
That’s why I’m so proud to be Irish and to live in a country where community, altruism, public service, and volunteerism mean an awful lot.
Almost the entire population followed the advice of NECG, thus not endangering themselves, or the emergency and voluntary services. We are very fortunate to have such selfless individuals, who regularly put their lives on the line on our behalf.
They respond to all emergencies with the primary objective of saving lives. In turn, their lives must never be unnecessarily endangered by the irresponsible actions of those who put personal entitlement before the common good.