Minister Donohoe opens new Coast Guard Unit in Doolin

27th March, 2015

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Friday) opened the newly-built Coast Guard Station in Doolin, Co Clare, which provides the local Volunteer Coast Guard team with top class facilities. The project has been in the pipeline for many years and provides one of the busiest Coast Guard Units in the country with an operations and training room, changing facilities, wet room, store room and a large garage within which to store boats, road transport and cliff rescue equipment.


The purpose built facility is situated close to Doolin pier on the south-western tip of the Burren Uplands, enjoys scenic views of the nearby Aran Islands and approaches to the adjacent Cliffs of Moher. Architecturally the building takes the form of a series of abstract blocks that reflect the surrounding geology, reducing its apparent size in the landscape and, in effect, becoming part of the landscape.


Commenting today Minister Donohoe said: ‘Both Clare County Council and the OPW deserve great credit for developing a building that is both functional and sensitive to the local landscape. The design in itself will be an added visitor attraction to the area as its unique design enables it to sit comfortably with other similarly scaled natural rock structures present in the area’.


“I am particularly delighted to have the opportunity to thank the volunteer members of the Doolin unit, and indeed all Coast Guard volunteers for the service they so willingly provide to our coastal communities. Coast Guard volunteers shoulder much responsibility and the services that they provide, including boat rescue, cliff rescue and shoreline searching are an integral part of our world class Maritime Search and Rescue organisation.


“This Doolin opening follows on the completion of similar projects in Killybegs in 2014, Crosshaven in 2013 and Goleen in 2012. This year I expect work on the construction of a new station in Greystones to commence. Plans for construction of a station in Westport are also at a very advanced stage.”


The Volunteer Officer-in-Charge of the Doolin unit, Mattie Shannon, whose two late uncles were members of the forerunner of the Coast Guard, the CLSS (Coast Life Saving Service) established in 1937, described the opening as a proud day for the team and the Doolin community, saying: ‘It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of our Coast Guard friends to Doolin on what is a proud and historic day. I want to extend a special welcome to former members of the Unit and I know they will feel as proud as the current team does. We have pursued this goal for many years and we now have a facility that will ensure that the Doolin Volunteer Coast Guard Unit is equipped to support the coastal community and surrounding areas well into the future’.


Irish Coast Guard Director, Chris Reynolds, said: ‘The Doolin Unit has a long and proud tradition that dates back to 1937 when a Coastal Life Saving Service was established locally. The professionalism and commitment that was displayed in those early days continues to be the hallmark of the unit. In recent years it has been one of the busiest teams in the country providing cliff rescue services, boat rescue and shoreline search services, coupled with support for Coast Guard helicopters as well as supporting and assisting the other statutory and voluntary services’.




Two materials are used for the outer walls of the building. Some of the pieces are made from multi-wall polycarbonate sheeting. This material allows solar gain into the building while simultaneously insulating it. Its appearance has a complexity; sometimes reflecting the sky, sometimes rendered a dull grey akin to the limestone, changing subtly in different lights. The other pieces are finished with a self coloured smooth render. The colour of this render matches the colour of the limestone.