• Morgan Fagg

Irish Water Safety PROtest (Vol 1)

Updated: Jan 21, 2019

Moving to another country, meant quitting Irish Water Safety but with no certainty on a new life abroad, there was no rush to leave IWS or my local WSAC.

My role as Public Relations Officer for Westmeath WSAC had been clearly defined by the Secretary of the time, Enda Hanniffy who stated strongly, "get two stories published a year."

Leaving for Spain, five years ago, I found myself with the same question, could I get two stories published and could I continue to do it from Madrid?

Surprisingly yes, my father, a former chairperson of Westmeath´s Water Safety Area Committee, kept me informed of what was happening at a local level and I have been able to write several colourful pieces including a front-page piece article too.

Working as a journalist at the time, Cmd John Leech suggested ten years ago that our committee should elect a P.R.O. and my role was born. The fact that I am also an amateur photographer didn’t hurt and while not everyone wants the hassle of trying to organise photographs, a picture is worth a thousand words, well a few column inches anyways.

Needless to say, photography in a pool requires planning so I have attached the IWS link for details on photographing around pools and while not everyone has access to a waterproof camera, you don't need to be Jacques Cousteau as waterproof cameras are more accessible than ever before. Please don’t plunge into pool photography until reading the guidelines.

Tarrhail, Irish Water Safety´s magazine took some of my poolside stories as well so the question is, where do we go from here?

I asked myself the question several times, do I step up or step down? Knowing that there was no one ready to jump in at the deep end, well at least not with a camera in their hand, I decided to step up, well as best I could anyway.

Lacking all face to face communications with my colleagues, there are many areas where I lack. Dependent on one medium and in particular, one media, it has proven harder and harder to submit details over time but for each story printed, we have helped create awareness.

So how do we step-up our publicity at a local level? In the words of Enda Hanniffy, write two stories.

I doubt I can call myself an award-winning writer but the Athlone Topic´s former editor did win a Social Responsibility Award from IWS last November on the back of all those Water Safety stories, that kept Enda Hannify off my back.

I will write next month about the award but must point out that the new EDITOR of the Athlone Topic is a former lifeguard, keen to help out and has pointed out that The Topic´s sister publications would love to hear from you as well.

So how do we step-up our publicity at a local level? In the words of Enda Hanniffy, write two stories.

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