Wednesday 18 October 2017

Cllrs hold minute's silence in memory of tragic boys

John Manning

A MINUTE'S silence was held in council chambers this month in memory of two young boys who have drowned in the last couple of weeks at public ponds in Dublin 15.

Ahmed Bari and Ricky Osagie drowned in separate incidents at public ponds in Tyrrelstown and Blanchardstown and their deaths were described as 'two awful tragedies' by Fingal Chief Executive, Paul Reid, at this month's meeting of the full council.

Mr Reid extended the council's 'deepest sympathy to the two families involved' and their communities and said that Irish Water was preparing a risk-assessment report on the areas where the tragic accidents occurred.

He said that the council would be 'happy to embrace any recommendations' that came out of that report and would work with the community to 'promote greater awareness of water safety'.

Fingal Mayor, Cllr Mags Murray (FF) echoed the chief executive's words of sympathy for the families involved and said she understood the safety audit being conducted would be completed within two weeks.

Cllr David McGuinness (FF) said it had been a 'difficult couple of weeks in Dublin 15' and said that safety for the community was 'paramount' and he did not want to see incidents like this happen again.

Cllr Brian McDonagh (Lab) tabled a question at the same meeting asking the chief executive 'in view of recent tragic events in Fingal, will the chief executive initiate a review of safety at all potentially dangerous bodies of accessible open freshwater in Fingal while in parallel working with schools and organisations such as the Irish Water Safety Association, Civil Defence, the RNLI, the RLSS and others to initiate and conduct an ongoing targeted Water Safety educational programme for children in Fingal Schools'.

The chief executive replied in writing, stating: 'The Water Safety Development Officer (WSDO) has compiled a list of areas of open freshwater in public areas throughout the county and a safety review will take place in conjunction with Irish Water Safety (IWS) at these locations.

'Irish Water Safety is the statutory body established to promote water safety in Ireland.

'IWS endeavours to reduce fatalities by increasing water safety awareness and by changing attitudes and behaviours so that aquatic environments can be enjoyed in safety.

'Courses are provided nationwide by IWS to the general public and also to children as part of the primary school curriculum.

'The WSDO will continue to work with IWS to determine the best course of action in relation to the wider educational aspect of water safety.'

Fingal Independent