A Galway based Minister says that funding for a new water safety initiative will save lives in Galway.

Minister for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands Sean Kyne was reacting to news of funding of €24,000 for the initiative in the River Corrib in Galway.

The funding is being provided for the ‘River Corrib Thermal Image Monitoring Project’ under the Department of Rural and Community Development’s Digital Innovation Programme.

Minister Kyne said the project will use thermal imaging technology along the banks of the Corrib in the city to detect persons entering the river and will issue an automated message to An Garda Siochana. By providing this early warning system the emergency and rescue services will be able to act faster to help persons who are in distress and ultimately save lives.

“The River Corrib Thermal Image Monitoring Project is a great example of how technology can be harnessed for the benefit of people and communities, and in particular people who may be vulnerable.

“When Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development I secured funding for the first Digital Innovation Programme and I’m delighted that Ministers Michael Ring and Seán Canney have today allocated funding of over €450,000 for new projects across the country.

“Other projects being supported include free public wifi along the Grand Canal Greenway in Offaly, funding to tackle a mobile coverage blackspot in Dongeal, as well as funding to develop ‘Digital Discovery Points’ along the Wild Atlantic Way. All of the projects, including the River Corrib project, are pilot projects that will, it is hoped, provide a template from which to introduce similar projects in communities across the country.”

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