Colleagues from the fire service in Donegal and Northern Ireland, family and friends gathered recently in Gallagher’s Hotel, Letterkenny to mark the retirement of Bobby McMenamin who was acting Chief Fire Officer in Donegal.
Bobby, a native of Buncrana, was joine don the night by his wife Marian and the extended Mcmenamin family for what was a moving and well thought out tribute to a man who has given unstinting service to Donegal over three decades - in fact since 1974.
Bobby spent all or most of his career in Donegal, but he has happy memories of serving at the start of his carrer in County West Meath.
Bobby spoke on the night of his pride in the service, but in particular the training regime that has been put in place over the years and is nationally regarded as second to none with Donegal fire fighters have a reputation for excellence in the field thansk to the superb training they undergo.
Mr McMenamin paid special tribute to his wife and family and pointed out that as with all fire fighters they have the added worry of seeing their loved ones at times heading off into what can be potentialy dangerous and life threatening situations.
He said all those who support fire fighters deserve great credit for this.
Among the many special guests at the function, the presence of fire fighting colleagues from Northern Ireland was noted.
The excellent cross border relationship between officers from both services was commented on by several speakers and Mr McMenamin added to this when he alluded to the importance of their NI colleagues.
There was representation at the function from Dundalk and Leitrim Fire Services - the Dundalk connection underlined through the breathing appartus and fire behaviour courses service.
Garry Martin, Director of Emergency Services at Donegal County Council paid a glowing tribute to Bobby who he said was a superb leader of firefighters. He commented that he got a greater understanding of the important work the service does when he went ‘on the ground’ during the 2011 gorse fires throughout Donegal where he saw first hand the remarkable and brave work that all firefighters int he county undertake week in, week out.