Coast Guard boss for EU mission in Somalia

Coast Guard boss for EU mission in Somalia

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Chris Reynolds (left)
Chris Reynolds (left) at the official opening of the new Coast Guard station in Doolin – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

The Director of the Irish Coast Guard is set to leave his post to become Head of Operations for an EU mission in Somalia.

Chris Reynolds was selected for the position following a public appointment process and it will be the first time that the Irish Coast Guard will be involved in an overseas mission.

The EUCAP Nestor mission aims to assist the development and continued enhancement of maritime security including counter-piracy and maritime governance. The mission carries out activities to reinforce coast guard functions, support the rule of law and the judiciary.

EUCAP Nestor

Mr Reynolds has been granted special leave from the Irish Coast Guard to take up the position which will involve assisting Somali authorities to establish a constabulary-style Coast Guard with its related police and legal services.

Mr Reynolds will be responsible for all operational activities and field offices of the mission and will cooperate closely with Somali Federal, regional and local authorities.

The Mission, which comprises 17 participating member states, had a budget €17.9m last year and its planned capacity is for 137 international staff and 39 local staff.

This includes personnel in the mission Headquarters as well as country and field offices in Puntland and Somaliland. There is also an associated training centre in Djibouti.

Mr Reynolds will depart initially for the Mission Administrative HQ in Nairobi, Kenya on July 19th and will return to his current role as Irish Coast Guard Director once his secondment is complete.

Chris Reynolds official photo
Irish Coast Guard Director Chris Reynolds will depart for Africa on July 19th

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said: “Following a public appointment process, Chris Reynolds was selected for this role. Secondment is normally for a period of 2 years, subject to how the mission evolves.”

Chris Reynolds said: “I believe this is a recognition, on an international level, that we in the IrCG, both volunteer and professional, do a good job and that we have gained the respect and trust of all the communities we serve and all the partners we work with”.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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