Community Stories  >  Case Studies

Irish Mountain Rescue Association (IMRA)

Despite our often rugged landscape, it wasn’t until 1965 that organised mountain rescue came to this island. Prior to that date, climbers and walkers depended on the goodwill of local farmers or, in rare cases, the existence of a local mountaineering club. 

But that year saw the formation of the Irish Mountain Rescue Association (IMRA) and first efforts to build a coherent national service. Over the next two decades, growth was swift, and by 1986 the mountain rescue service was judged to be of a sufficiently high quality to become an official part of the emergency services. 

There are now 12 fully-fledged mountain rescue teams in Ireland, operated by some 350 people. All are volunteers and they provide emergency response cover across the country 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

All twelve teams are registered charities and IMRA acts as their national representative body. Fundraising is a constant consideration. 

In 2008, IMRA launched a national three-year fundraising initiative which also raised awareness of the teams’ work and the public profile of the association. 

One key element involved the production of a unique, mountain rescue collection box similar to those used by the RNLI. The boxes would be used for local ‘flag days’ with monies raised going directly to the local team. 

Clann Credo immediately saw the benefits that support for this project would bring: enhancing a valuable, life-saving service, building its profile nationally and creating greater local capacity to raise money directly from the community 

Location: Roundwood, Co. Wicklow