National Services Day was celebrated throughout the country on Saturday.
The annual event, National Services Day, is recognised by the Government and is held annually on the first Saturday in September, is intended to recognise the work of voluntary and full-time frontline services in 24 organisations including the Irish Prison Service, An Garda Siochana, Fire and Ambulance Services, the Coastguard and Civil Defence among others. The event also aims to promote communication and friendship among the personnel of the National Security and Emergency Services
This year’s ceremonies were also intended to commemorate the services provided by these agencies and organisations during the Covid-19 pandemic, and to memorialise the serving and former emergency workers lost during the outbreak, as well as those throughout society.
A pre-dawn parade of emergency service vehicles took place in Dublin City centre in order to avoid any crowd congestion and potential infection spread. Similar parades took place later in the day in Cork and Galway, where the vehicles paraded through the suburbs, bringing the parades to the people instead of crowding the city centres.
Wreath laying ceremonies were also held in the afternoon at Collins Barracks, Dublin and in Galway, Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Monaghan and Donegal.
The Irish Prison Service was represented in Dublin by the Director-General, Caron McCaffrey and in Galway by the Director of Corporate Services, Governance and ICT, Donna Creaven. Governor Michael O’Mahony served on the organising committee and managed events in Dublin on the day with Chief Officer Peter Guinan, ACO Simon Duffy, WTO Phil Brennan and Officers Des Hurley and Ray Proudfoot and Chief Officer Donnelly in Galway.
This is the first year that events have been held outside Dublin, making the Day truly ‘National’. In 2022 it is hoped that each prison can also mark the event locally, to commemorate and celebrate the valuable work carried out within the Prison Service.