Minister praises 'quiet heroism' of frontline workers

The first Saturday in September honours frontline and emergency workers, including first responders of all types.

Ministers have praised the commitment and professionalism of frontline services on National Services Day.

The Minister for Justice, Heather Humphreys TD, and Ministers of State at the Department of Justice, Hildegard Naughton TD and James Browne TD, led the calls for recognition, with the former stating: “I am privileged to work closely with some of our frontline emergency services, namely An Garda Síochána and the staff of the Irish Prison Service. I have seen at first hand their tremendous professionalism and dedication, in what can be very challenging circumstances.”

Minister Humphreys said she was delighted to have the opportunity to “publicly thank” frontline workers and all emergency services for their “quiet heroism”.

“The demands placed on our emergency workers have perhaps never been greater than this past year, as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Minister of State Naughton meanwhile stated that throughout the pandemic and all across Ireland, the women and men of An Garda Síochána had stepped up their engagement with the community by reaching out to those most vulnerable, alone or afraid.

“I am conscious too that our prison staff, including prison officers and medical personnel, have taken extraordinary measures to shield prisoners from the threat of the virus. Theirs is a true spirit of service to communities, which they share with other frontline services, including first responders and health professionals.”

In 2018, the Government declared the first Saturday in September as National Services Day. This is an annual day to honour frontline and emergency workers including first responders of all types.

Minister of State Browne concluded that the past 18 months had been a “frightening and uncertain time” for many.

“As we progress through our national vaccination programme, I commend our emergency workers - despite any private fears they may have had for themselves or their loved ones – for their unstinting performance of their duties and their prodigious efforts to support the public. We owe them, and their families, a deep debt of gratitude for their outstanding professionalism, dedication and care.”