FESSEF Chairman steps down from National Services Day committee

Having chaired FESSEF Committee for many years, Seamus O’Neill announced he is stepping down from the ‘Frontline Emergency Security Services Éire Forum’, the committee who manage and organise the National Services Day.

Speaking at the 6th Annual FESSEF Gala Dinner held in the Mansion House in Dublin on Saturday last, after the 2nd official year of National Services Day parade and open day in Dublin, Mr. O’ Neill said he gave the impression last year that that year would be his final one, but following a row at the AGM, he agreed to one final year.

He said “Last year, I gave the impression or at least I’d hoped I gave the impression that you wouldn’t have to put up with me again this year. There was a row at the AGM, we came to a compromise like all good politicians, they gave me another year then told me to clear out. I can rest assure you, this is the last time that you will see me as Chairperson of FESSEF.”

Outgoing FESSEF Chairman Seamus O’ Neill, speaking in the Mansion House, Dublin. (Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

The National Services Day parade was attended by over thirteen-hundred participants from 22 frontline, voluntary, security services from around Ireland, and attracted huge crowds throughout Dublin city on its route to Dublin Castle. The parade was led by the ‘Little Blue Heroes’ and the Grand Marshall was GAA Commentator Míchaél O’ Muircheartaigh.

At the heart of FESSEF are wonderful people who comprise the committee, who work tirelessly and with great determination throughout the year to bring together the wonderful events leading up to National Services Day and on the day itself.

Garda Chief Supt. Kevin Gralton, Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy, An Tuasal, Míchaél O’ Muircheartaigh, Martin Dunne, Director, National Ambulance Service and Assistant Civil Defence Officer, Aidan Hanna, Dublin. (Photo: Garda Press Office)

Seamus O’ Neill said the annual parade and open day could not be possible without the continuous support from Dublin City Council, in the presage of Brendan Kenny. “It was Brendan who provided funds in the beginning and has supported us ever since, so to Dublin City Council, we say thank you very much and to our new friends and hopefully with a long relationship, Dublin Bus and to the people in Dublin Bus, thank you very much for everything. I also want to pay a special word of thanks to Martin Dunne of the National Ambulance Service who has supported us for many years, Martin thank you very much.”

“As I step down as Chairperson of FESSEF, I can reflect on our growth and achievements and I am very proud to have had some part in the fabulous growth of FESSEF and to witness the extraordinary events of the week. I was also so very proud and humbled to see the wonderful opening tribute by the Late Late Show on RTÉ. It was simply fantastic. To all the committee members over the years, present and past, thank you. To the CEO’s, your help, cooperation and encouragement who has made this happen. I hope I have done you proud.”

Seamus O’ Neill. (Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

Chief Superintendent, Kevin Gralton of An Garda Síochána said “We have had the most amazing week in the history of FESSEF, but it just doesn’t happen and the last month has been as intense as you could ever imagine. This is down solely to Seamus O’ Neill. He’s a tremendous friend, an amazing man, and when you upset him, he usually writes to the Taoiseach, he doesn’t go any lower. Seamus, thank you for everything you have done and how far you have brought FESSEF.”

Owen Medland of the RNLI thanked said “I would simply ask that each and everybody in this magnificent and historic venue, who has contributed and supported to this years National Services Day, from the Heads of Organisations, Ministers, volunteers, staff, spouses, sponsors, bands, choirs and the men and women of Ireland’s frontline services; please, take away an immense pride in what has been achieved, and this year we have achieved a lot. We have conducted a parade of some 1 and a half thousand service personnel, bands and vehicles through the nation’s main thoroughfares, drawing huge crowds in appreciation of our people.”

RNLI’s Owen Medland with FESSEF Committee members in foreground. (Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times)

On behalf of Emergency Times, we wish Seamus O’Neill every best wish and thank him for his support and assistance over the years.

Photo: Declan Keogh

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