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Downings man ends illustrious 30-year career with Donegal Civil Defence

Civil Defence

Cathal and his wife Liz with the Donegal Civil Defence Officer Edel Flynn at the presentation ceremony in Ballybofey.


Cathal Carr, Downings, Carrigart has just completed an illustrious 30-year career working with Donegal Civil Defence.


He joined as a volunteer in September 1985 and soon became immersed in all aspects of the organisation. In 1986 he attended his first course in the then Civil Defence School, Ratra House Phoenix Park, Dublin to undergo a Teaching Methods course. In 1989 Cathal qualified as a Casualty Instructor, a natural progression for him, giving his background in nursing prior to taking up a career in teaching.


Keen to put his qualification to good use and give something back to his community, he set up the Casualty Class in the Hay Hall in Carrigart, an area that still has very active members in to this day. During his career as a Casualty Instructor, Cathal also became an Examiner in this field and would travel to other counties to assist with Intermediate Examinations as they were known then.


 Although Cathal was a busy man both in his daily life as a Teacher, working at night time as an Instructor for Civil Defence, Cathal still found time to deliver first aid training to the Donegal County Council staff on a regular basis and became known across the county in the council circles as’ Cathal, the first aid instructor’.


In 1997, Cathal received recognition for his hard work, commitment and dedication to Civil Defence by being promoted to Area Commander for the then Milford Electoral Area, a position he held until his retirement.


With this appointment came responsibility. Cathal was responsible for the volunteers in his area, all the community duties / events in the area, such as the Kerrykeel Vintage Show, Donegal International Rally, Lennon Festival, the Glebe Gallery Heritage week …the list goes on. He was also responsible for ensuring that Civil Defence continued to develop in the Milford EA.


As first aid progressed through the years with the advancement of technology and more modern methods of administering first aid, Cathal became very active in promoting CPR and the use of the Defibrillator and he joined the Irish Heart Foundation, also as an Instructor, in 2005.


In 2008, Civil Defence nationally joined the Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) and with that came a lot of changes in the area of the casualty service. First Aid moved from Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels to Cardiac First Responder (CFR), Occupational First Aid (OFA), Emergency First Responder (EFR) and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) qualifications.


Cathal too made the change and qualified as a Casualty Instructor under the PHECC Programme and continued to deliver training in these areas until his retirement.


At a recent presentation night for Cathal, which was held in Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey, Edel Flynn, Civil Defence Officer  told the gathering ‘that it was with regret and sadness’ that she received the phone call from Cathal informing her of his plan to retire.


She said it had been a privilege to serve as his CDO in the last 14 years. A presentation was made to Cathal to mark his retirement. The members of Donegal Civil Defence wish Cathal a long and happy retirement to enjoy with his wife Liz and family.



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