Sub Aqua clubs that provide vital search and rescue supports in rivers and lakes across the Shannonside region have been forgotten by Government.
That's the view of Roscommon-Galway Independent TD Denis Naughten who has highlighted the role local groups play in the search and recovery of remains from inland water ways.
Speaking in the Dail recently, Deputy Naughten confirmed that while maintenance grants are available for mountain, cave and sea rescue services, nothing is provided for diving groups.
The issue was raised by the local TD following recent searches of the river Shannon in Leitrim following a tragedy.
The Independent Deputy has urged the Department of transport and Junior Minister Jack Chambers to support these groups:
"Last weekend the sub aqua clubs were out on a search and recovery mission in my constituency. Sadly this is all too common in this country. Minister, families need closure and without remains, they can never have that. These volunteers are going out in horrendous weather doing vital work not only without any financial assistance but paying the running costs out of their own pocket and it's just not good enough".
Responding to the local TD, Minister Jack Chambers acknowledged the role played by these groups:
"I hear what you've said and when tragic circumstances occur we have volunteers that front up and provide assistance to families. The state can't abandon the volunteers and the groups and I will engage with my colleagues across government on this. As I've referenced at the start some of these groups don't come under the department but that means nothing to the groups. They want to know what the broader state is doing".