On the weekend of Friday the 31st of January to Sunday the 2nd of February, the Glen of Imaal Red Cross Mountain Rescue Team hosted this years Annual General Meeting and Conference for Mountain Rescue Ireland. Mountain Rescue Ireland is the representative body for the 12 Mountain Rescue Teams across the Island of Ireland. As the Glen Team is at the end of their 30 year celebrations, they brought this special event back home to the Glen of Imaal where the Team was born. The Defence Forces were willing to support the Team in this venture and gave access to their base in Coolmoney Camp, Glen of Imaal. Delegates from the Rescue Teams and other agencies which work alongside Mountain Rescue on an operational level, gathered together to discuss relevant matters, review and learn from each other. The conference hosted a range of speakers presenting on a diverse range of topics such as; OSI mapping, Air Accident Investigation, Crime Scene Preservation, Search and Rescue Dogs. The Air Corps also visited with the EC139 Helicopter and provided a briefing to assembled Team members.
Minister Leo Varadkar was also present to address the assembled delegates along with TD Andrew Doyle and TD Simon Harris. He praised Mountain Rescue team members for their commitment to community volunteer work and also obliged the Glen Team by officially launching their new control vehicle. This purpose built command vehicle was procured from funds generously donated from the public and supporters during the last few “Moonlight Challenge” night walks.
The AGM also played host to guest speaker Frank Nugent, one of Ireland’s best known explorers, sailors and historic mountaineering writers who regaled the assembled delegates with memories from times past.
A poignant moment was reached during the event when, recently deceased, search and rescue dog Bono received a posthumous Mountain Rescue Ireland Distinguished Service Award. It was presented to his handler, master and friend Mick Grant to a standing ovation. Such was the respect for Bono that the entire AGM was dedicated to his memory.
The Glen Team extends their sincere thanks to Commandant Derek Hanley and his staff for facilitating this event.