Martin O’Sullivan, Chairman of Water Safety Ireland

Saying Slán To All The WSI Members: A Message From Martin O’Sullivan On His Official Completion Of Tenure As Chairman Of Water Safety Ireland

October 2021

Hello to all members of Water Safety Ireland,

I am communicating with all of you to express my gratitude for affording me the honour of being your Chairman for the past five years. It has been a privilege to work with you and for you over that period.

During that time, we have witnessed a massive increase in the Sport of Lifesaving and I am delighted to be associated with these years of sporting success.

The Water Safety message has been promoted across a variety of media, and through our winter and summer courses. Our Primary Aquatics Water Safety (PAWS) programme continues to expand into schools, and I am delighted that our new Hold Hands resources have been enthusiastically embraced by Early Learning Centres nationwide. Water Safety needs a whole-of-life approach, and these initiatives are just some of the age-specific resources that will help protect our most vulnerable.

WSI plays a pivotal role within International Life Saving Europe (ILSE), in both Rescue and Sport and in particular, the ILSE Risk Assessment programmes that help make our waterways safer for so many users. The safe use of our waterways by our population is our top priority.

Furthermore, I am pleased to have been associated with the development of our National Drowning Prevention Strategy. I believe that WSI has responded well to making water safety part of a conversation at all levels of society but particularly with loved ones. Prompting people to have that conversation is part of our effort to change the culture and turn any unhealthy fear of water into a healthy respect for our aquatic environments, one of our greatest resources for safe and enjoyable activities.

Finally, I am particularly happy to note the reduction in drownings over the past few years, now at their lowest in eighty-five years. It is a good news story and with your assistance and commitment I am confident that we will maintain this statistic and take heart from the reduction.

Thanks again to all our members, all our volunteers. It has been a privilege.

Goodbye, Stay Safe agus go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir.

Martin O’Sullivan