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Defence Forces honoured for role in Sligo Covid-19 vaccination centre

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Sligo CVC Defence Forces: L-R Sergeant John Cleary, Private Paul Devins, Leftenant Michael Kilcoyne, Corporal Nicky Devins, Private Gerry McGarry, Private Daniel Gethins, Commissioner Brendan McGovern.

Sligo CVC Defence Forces: L-R Sergeant John Cleary, Private Paul Devins, Leftenant Michael Kilcoyne, Corporal Nicky Devins, Private Gerry McGarry, Private Daniel Gethins, Commissioner Brendan McGovern.

Sligo CVC Defence Forces: L-R Sergeant John Cleary, Private Paul Devins, Leftenant Michael Kilcoyne, Corporal Nicky Devins, Private Gerry McGarry, Private Daniel Gethins, Commissioner Brendan McGovern.

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A special Recognition Event was held last Friday to pay tribute to the Defence Forces members whose assignment to the Sligo COVID-19 Vaccination Centre has ended.

The Defence Forces from the 28th Infantry Battalion based at Finner Camp, Ballyshannon, have supported the vaccination programme throughout key periods since the 5th of March 2021.

A total of 32 members of the 28th Infantry Battalion assisted with the programme at various times throughout their time with the COVID-19 Vaccination programme.

Members of the Defence Forces were an integral part of the team and the running of the vaccination centre, primarily being involved in logistics, pharmacy, stock management and marshalling support.

However their roles varied during their time.

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Since March 2021, 103,040 people have received their vaccine through the centre in Sligo, and 19,572 in the Carrick-on-Shannon centre, totalling 142,612 people in Sligo and Leitrim.

Over the past 15 months, the programme has scaled up and down but in its busiest periods, the Sligo vaccination centre vaccinated up to 2,000 people in one day.

Operational Site Manager Shona Gallagher said Defence Forces personnel left a lasting impression on staff and will be greatly missed.

“I would like to sincerely thank the members of the Defence Forces for their immense contribution towards the success of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. They offered incredible support to us as an entire team and carried out their duties to the highest standard with professionalism and commitment. We have learned so much from each other through collaborative working and we feel privileged to have had them on board.”

At the event on Friday, Defence Forces members were each presented with a special Certification of Recognition as a token of thanks for their dedication to the Vaccination Programme.

A spokesperson for the Defence Forces said “The role played by the Irish Defence Forces in the inter-agency response to the Covid pandemic has allowed us to show our capabilities and showcase our ability to respond at short notice to crises on island. As an organisation we are extremely adept at offering the flexibility and agility required when unexpected situations arise.”


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