Plans are in place to upgrade Coast Guard stations across the county, according to Minister with Responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe.

Mr Kehoe this week secured assurances from Transport Minister Shane Ross that a new station is planned for Kilmore Quay.

The OPW is currently in communication with Wexford County Council in this regard and further updates will follow.

The Coast Guard is also investigating options for a new station in Courttown, while an extension to the station at Fethard is also being considered.

The Coast Guard has undertaken a station modernisation programme over the last 20 years upgrading or undertaking a new build at one to two stations nationwide per year.

In Wexford, this has resulted in the building of a modern state-of–the-art Stationhouse on Rosslare strand.

Upgraded stations will have a kitchenette, toilet, showering and changing facilities as well as classroom, operations room and garage space.

While the selection of upgrades is the responsibility of the Department of Transport, Minister Kehoe has insisted Wexford must be prioritised.

He sought the updates on the planned upgrades just months after highlighting some concerns held by Coast Guard volunteers directly with Minister Ross.

Speaking this week, Mr Kehoe said the contribution from Coast Guard volunteers to communities across Wexford cannot be understated.

“It’s important to reassure people that upgrades to Coast Guard stations in Wexford are a priority for both me and the Government.

“Night and day, all year round, coast guard volunteers put their lives on the line in order to save those of others.

“Their heroic contribution to our community deserves constant recognition. The very least they deserve is a well-equipped station,” Mr Kehoe said.

“I will continue to stay in contact with Minister Ross to ensure that the upgrades in Courttown and Fethard are delivered.

“And I look forward to seeing the plans being developed by the OPW and Wexford County Council which will see the opening of a station at Kilmore Quay.”