Back row: Greg Sadolewski, Donal Flynn, Daithí Dalton, Joe Gavin, Martin Moffatt, David Kearns, Ray McMahon and Johnny Gaye; (front) Brian Gillen, Civil Defence officer; Catriona Williams, Rosie Rabbeth, Mary Power, Catherina Dooley, Cassie Hanlon and Imelda Bardon, assistant Civil Defence officer.

Local Civil Defence volunteers gather for awards night

“It was great to be able to show our appreciation to our team,” said Westmeath Civil Defence officer, Brian Gillen, following a celebratory function at The Greville Arms Hotel on Thursday December 8.

Volunteers had been looking forward to the event, as for many it the first time in more than three years that it could go ahead.

Catriona Williams was the recipient of a 30-year service medal on the night, while Aidan Palmer, Elizabeth Mullens and Rosaleen Rabbeth all received a 10-year service medals. Mr Gillen said the gathering is important for him and his team: “The night was absolutely great. A few times recently we’ve managed to get groups together, which we couldn’t do for a long time.

“We work as a team and when you can’t meet your team, it’s not a good business. So, it’s great to get back to some kind of reality.

“We know Covid hasn’t gone away but we take precautions every day so that we can keep ourselves safe and the people around us safe in order to continue our work.

“It was great to award long service medals to the members and to really show our appreciation.”

Brian Gillen, Civil Defence officer; Sonny Palmer, Martin McDonagh, Mick Flynn, PJ Fitzpatrick, Denis O’Neill, Aidan Palmer, Lisa O’Reilly and Seamus Murray, Civil Defence College; (front) Alan O’Neill, chief fire officer; Linda McMahon Lynch, Arthur Dunne, Siobhan Courtney, Rachel Raleigh, Lola Brogan and Bernie Gilleran.