By way of reference, please see this….
who stole from my local Search & Recovery unit,
Let me explain to you what it is like to be in a situation where a family member is missing. You wait.
You wonder. You search. You ponder. You seek. You struggle. You doubt. You cope. You don’t. You wait.
My extended family and I have been in the unfortunate position to involve a missing person, my cousin Seoirse. For six agonising days, we waited for news, good or bad about where he was. We had adverts on local radio – we even used his middle name, which we were convinced he would kill us for allowing to happen when he came home. “Maybe he had ran away – But why?”, we pondered. Maybe he was in Limerick/Dublin. Yes that was it. It had to be it. He was lost somewhere. Maybe. Every possible permutation – I think we went through them all. However this was not a Search and Recovery mission, just yet.
We wondered his whereabouts. What he was up to. Where he could possibly have gone to that would have taken him away from us all for so long.
On the Friday 13th April 2001 our wait ended as we started to overhear rumours that the Garda divers had found what they were looking for in the Shannon. By 10:35am it was confirmed that we had our cousin and friend back. That concluded our waiting and began our healing.
In the months that followed, a Search & Rescue Unit was set up in our local area. I was involved in its setup as a founding member. I took solace in the fact that despite the tragic death of Seorise it could be offset slightly by the fact that there was now a permanent presence on the lake based in Killaloe, Co. Clare. For the last ten years, that unit has grown from strength to strength. Part of it now forms an inland Irish Coastguard Unit and the boat which you stole those engines from, forms the Search & Recovery unit. It has preserved and saved lives on this lake by its very existence.
You see this is what you have taken. In addition to the two €15,000 donated engines off a Search & Recovery boat, you have taken the ability to conclude a tragedy quickly. You have extended the waiting, the hurt and the unknown. You have caused further unnecessary pain. Nobody ever wants to be in a position where they are searching for a loved one.
I hope, not for your sake but for that of your family, that you never have to experience any tragedy on a lake or a river. Nobody ever deserves to be left waiting for that news.