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St. John Ambulance Castlekknock Division

In a suburb located west of Dublin city, a group of like minded adults established Castleknock Combined Division in 1988, with the objective of providing a First Aid voluntary service to the community. A strong family focus rapidly developed, hence the establishment of a vibrant Ambulance and Nursing Cadet (Youth) section of the Division.

Our Dublin 15 Division was established by Assistant Commissioner Mr. John McGrath (then District Officer) in 1988 and since then has played its part in providing personnel for the public in which the Brigade are requested to supply a First Aid service. Even with this heavy load of work the Division stays afloat by supplying First Aid services to its local G.A.A. club on weekly basis and more recently, some small pop concerts. Overall, the Divisions work throughout the years regarding public duties has been outstanding.

Castleknock Division is steeped in history and has gone from strength to strength over the years. Its success stemmed from a vibrant core of members who dedicate their spare time to growing the Division into a successful and enjoyable unit of the Brigade. We rely and appreciate those members' help in all aspects of the Division's life.

Competitions is a large aspect, for some members, of our Division. Castleknock has achieved some of the most prestigious competition trophies in First Aid and Caring for the Sick available, both regionally, nationally and internationally. In some years have won every competition available to them.

Castleknock Division represented the Republic of Ireland at the Sir Otto Lund Competition held in Cork in late 2007. To be apart of this international competition, our Division were winners of the National cup; they went on to represent their Division, and indeed the Brigade, in the International Finals and were successful in winning this converted competition, which only few have won.

Divisional outings have been an internal part of Castleknock's life, with many Cadets anticipation their next activity. Annual Hostelling and Camping Adventure Weekends enable each Cadet to achieve new skills and develop interpersonal relationships.

The presidents Badge Scheme has been in existence for a number of years in the Division, where Cadets are taught subjects other than First Aid and Caring for the Sick. This allows each participant to achieve their full potential in a range of different life skills. Many Cadets are now approaching the much-anticipated twelfth badge, and look forward to receiving this prestigious award from the President of the St. John Ambulance Brigade of Ireland.

Over the latter years, a new lease of life supplied from its new and enthusiastic members has revamped the Division. Members have undertaken ambitious training programmes. The purchasing of new training equipment accelerates the drive to achieve a highly efficient Division.

Many members have played an active role in our Division, in most cases there are so many to mention. However one Officer in particular rejuvenated the Cadet Division in the early 1990's and in recent times aided in the redevelopment of the Adult Division. District Officer Mrs. Hannah McGrath has been one of the most important Officers in the history of Castleknock, and without her support our Division would not be one of the top Divisions in the St. John Ambulance Brigade.

2009 saw Castleknock Division celebrate its 21st Birthday. A number of celebrations we being planned throughout the year, the main event invloved over 160 people attending a Black & White Ball in the Castleknock Hotel & Country Club. Among the guests of honour was the President of St. John Ambulance Mr. Clive Martin, the Commissioner of St. John Ambulance Mr. Patrick Plunkett and Castleknock's Divisional Founder Assistant Commissioner Mr. John L. McGrath.

Of course that's not it...Castleknock Division is sure to have an exciting number of years to come enough to make the history book.

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