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Displaying items by tag: LE Eithne

#EithneMedCrisis - Minister for Defence, Simon Conveney, T.D. has been given approval by the Government today (12 May) for the deployment of a Naval Service vessel to undertake humanitarian search and rescue missions as previously reported on Afloat.ie in the Mediterrranean.

The last Irish built naval service vessel L.E.Éithne (P31) dating from 1984 whose career was also previously reported will have a crew of around 65 personnel of the Permanent Defence Force are to undertake the task. The decision is subject to finalisation of appropriate arrangements with the Italian authorities.

Following the Government Decision the Minister commented "subject to finalisation of arrangements with the Italian authorities, the L.É. Eithne will be despatched to the Mediterranean without any delay. Operational and logistics planning for the deployment have been completed and the 80m vessel which has a range of 7,000nm at 15 knots is ready to deployed. The humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean is of great concern to Ireland and to our EU partners. I am anxious that we commence search and rescue activities in the Mediterranean as soon as it is feasible to do so".

The Minister went on to say that "discussions are at an advanced stage with the Italian authorities on arrangements covering a number of issues relating to the deployment of the Vessel. I expect that the Ship should depart the Naval Base in Haulbowline on Saturday, subject to confirmation of the proposed arrangements by the relevant Italian authorities".

Ireland will deploy L.É. Eithne to the Mediterranean for a period of up to six months over the summer period, subject to the operational demands and requirements arising in the theatre of operations, to assist the Italian authorities in the humanitarian search and rescue operations.

The Minister highlighted the Government's commitment to continuing Ireland's strong tradition of peacekeeping and stated that "the proposed deployment of an Irish Naval Service vessel to the Mediterranean will bring the number of Defence Forces personnel deployed overseas to approximately 500 Irish personnel."

 

Published in Navy

#FlagshipsHomeport -With newcomer Dublin Bay Cruises running from the East Pier jetty in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, this led to the Naval Service 'flagship' L.E. Eithne (P31) having to take a different berth than usual at her adopted homeport, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The recent two-day call of L.E. Eithne saw the flagship make the unusual step of berthing at Carlisle Pier, the location chosen by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company for a proposed Irish International Diaspora Centre, a landmark building which is to form as a focal point of the port's Masterplan.

L.E. Eithne came alongside (berth No. 3) where the conventional ferry from Holyhead used to dock until 1996. To those of a different generation, memories will recall the 'mail' boats that docked also on the adjacent berth that faces the East Pier. Going back further was the era of the steam-packets that also plied the 60 nautical mile route to Anglesea.

Together these forms of vessels can trace the history of some 200 years of passenger services linking Ireland and Wales, and where Carlisle Pier was the embarkation point for thousands of Irish emigrants who set off to a begin a new life with our nearest neighbour and beyond.

As for the flagship the L.E. Eithne, she has represented the state proudly as a floating ambassador during her near 30 year career. She has visited many shores aboard, notably as the first Naval Service vessel to cross the Atlantic in 1986, where she sailed to the United States visiting Hamilton, New York, and Boston.

Such seafaring voyages that 'fly the flag' strengthen the ties between nations and heightens the importance of history, heritage and the cultural identity of flags and emblems.

On a related note the Genealogical Society of Ireland and the National Maritime Museum of Ireland, are to jointly host The Bratacha Festival of Flags and Emblems 2013  in the museum which is open to visitors free of charge on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 May.

Following the festival, the third Global Diaspora Forum, which is a celebration of the 70m Irish diaspora and is to be held in Dun Laoghaire on 14-15 May.

The forum has been held annually in Washington and, this year, it will run simultaneously in Washington and Dublin: primarily in the Killiney Castle Hotel and Dun Laoghaire County Hall.

 

Published in Navy

#FlagshipVisit – The Naval Service 'flagship' L.E Eitnne (P31) is to take part in the In Humbert's Footsteps, Mayo's flagship Gathering event, when the festival is to be held in August.

The vessel will sail into Kilcummin, Mayo (weather permitting) on Saturday August 17 and will provide a wonderful backdrop to what promises to be an exciting re-enactment of the events of 1798.

Mayo native Commodore Mark Mellett (DSM), Flag Officer Commanding Naval Services said: "I am delighted that the Minister for Defence and the Chief of Staff have sanctioned the use of the Irish naval service flagship LÉ Eithne for the Gathering event In Humbert's Footsteps. For more the Mayo Advertiser has a report.

 

Published in Navy
Galwegian members of Team Ireland who participated at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games are guests today of a celebratory reception on board the navy's flagship L.E. Eithne (P31) which is berthed in Galway Harbour's Dun Aengus Dock, writes Jehan Ashmore.
In recognition of the achievements of the Special Olympics athletes in Athens, Gary Cunningham, Oranmore; Ruairi O'Toole, Spiddal; John Loughnane, Ballinasloe; Jonathon Griffin, Ballinasloe; Denise Flattery, Briarhill; Linda Cannon, Athenry; Emma Finneran, Christine Kelly and Fionnuala Treacy from Ballinasloe will be guests of honour at the reception.

The world games which were held during June and July saw over 7,500 athletes from 185 countries participate in the Greek capital. Team Ireland in total brought home 107 medals, with athletes from Galway securing 11 medals and a number of ribbons in a variety of sports.

Speaking about the reception, Regional Director Myra Merrick said: "We are honoured to have the Naval Service docking in Galway especially for the function. The athletes deserve a warm reception and recognition for their wonderful success. It's a huge achievement in itself to participate at World Games level, let alone bring back a medal".

"The event presents an exceptional opportunity for the public to extend congratulations to our local sporting heroes, explore the Defence Forces vessel and meet the officers" she added.

The 1984 built /1,910 tonnes 'helicopter patrol vessel' and her seven fleetmates are all each assigned to a particular charity. In the case of L.E. Eithne she is associated with Our Lady's for Sick Children, Crumlin in Dublin.

Published in Galway Harbour
Following L.É. Róisín's (P51) visit to St. Petersburg, the Naval Service's OPV is on a three-day stopover in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, writes Jehan Ashmore.
She docked early this morning in the Old City Harbour and was expected to be open to the public over the weekend. L.É. Róisín has also called to the Finnish capital of Helsinki. On Wednesday she will call to Estonia's neighbour Latvia where medical supplies will be delivered in the port of Riga to be transported for the Chernobyl Children's Project in Belarus.
Her visit is part of trade-mission deployment organised by the Irish Government agencies to strengthen economic, cultural and social ties with the Russian Federation and Baltic States.The goodwill visit is not the first undertaken by the Naval Service in this region as the flagship L.É. Éithne also docked in St. Petersburg and the capital of Latvia in June 2003.
Published in Navy
The Naval Service's OPV L.E. Roisin (P51) under the Command of Lt. Cdr. Peter Twomey is on a three-day visit to St. Petersburg in the Russian Federation, writes Jehan Ashmore.
L.E. Roisin is on a foreign trade deployment with calls to Helsinki, Tallinn and next Wednesday she is due to call to the Latvian capital Riga, where medical supplies are to be delivered on behalf of Adi Roche's Chernobyl Children's Project in Belarus, now in its 25th year of operations. Money to purchase the supplies were raised from a charity row-athon organised by the crew prior to departure.

Since Tuesday the offshore patrol vessel (OPV) has been berthed in the Baltic city of St. Petersburg. Her naval officers laid a wreath at the Piskarevskoye Memorial Cemetery. Also visited was the Central Naval Museum and the naval cruiser Aurora, where one of the first incidents of the 'October' Russian revolution took place in 1917.

Irish Ambassador to Russia Philip McDonagh boarded the L.E. Roisin yesterday to highlight Irish-Russian bi-lateral relationships and co-operation between the two countries in areas of economic, culture, education and tourism. In the first-half of 2010 bi-lateral trade with Russia was up 66% and St. Petersburg is the most important economic centre after Moscow.

The trade mission follows last year's visit of president Mary McAleese who became the first Irish head of state to visit Russia. On her visit which included St. Petersburg, she signed a protocol on partnership and co-operation between the Russian city and Dublin during the third St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum.

In March of this year representatives from St. Petersburg took part in the Russian Culture Festival in Dublin. Three months later in July, the Irish capital was visited by the Russian Naval destroyer Admiral Chabanenko (650), the flagship of the countries Northern Fleet. For more on that visit of the Udaloy –II class destroyer click HERE.

L.E. Roisin is not the first Irish Naval Service vessel to visit the Russian Federation as this accolade goes to the flagship L.E. Eithne (P31) which called to St. Petersburg in 2003.

Published in Navy
The Naval Service, the Air Corps and Army Ranger Wing (ARW) an elite specialist force, completed a maritime counter terrorism exercise on board an Irish Sea ferry at the weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.
For the purposes of the exercise Stena Line's Dublin-Holyhead ferry Stena Adventurer was used in a scenario involving terrorist activity of a large ship entering Dublin Port, culminating in an armed intervention.

The operation was spearheaded by the ARW with the support of a Naval Service coastal patrol vessel (CPV) and also Air Corps helicopters. High-speed tactical assault craft with ARW teams on board conducted manoeuvres while air-borne teams fast-roped from helicopters onto the deck of the Stena Adventurer. To see photos of the ARW team in action click HERE.

The exercise was designed to enhance the capacity of the Defence Forces to provide the State with a highly specialised maritime armed intervention capability.

Last month the Naval Service conducted close quarter manoeuvres in 'Operation Quixote' off the south-west coast. The exercise involved the entire naval fleet except for the flagship LE Eithne, which performed in gunnery practice, simulated air attacks from the Air Corps and armed naval boarding parties.

 

Published in Navy
One of the of first officers appointed to the Irish Naval Service, Cdr Liam Ahern passed away last week in Cork aged 90. Ahern was recruited into the new Irish Naval Service which had been established in 1947 following the running down of the Marine and Coastwatching Service at the end of World War II.
He was posted onto the corvettes L.É. Macha and L.É. Maeve and became a lieutenant in 1956 and rose to the position of commander in 1968. After a career at sea he moved to a shorebased position within the navy's dockyard engineering service and retired as senior marine engineer officer.

Following his retirement in September 1980 he worked with Irish Shipping Ltd for a further five years during the construction of the state-owned company ships at the Verolme Cork Dockyard. At the same dockyard, he had also been closely involved in the design and commissioning of the Naval Service's helicopter patrol vessel L.É. Eithne, its largest vessel which was built in 1984.

To read more about the distinguished career of Cdr Liam Ahern and also his wartime role in the Royal Navy, his obituary is published in today's Irish Times.

Jehan Ashmore adds that the L.É. Eithne arrived into Dublin Port this morning to dock at Sir John Rogersons Quay next to the French Navy minehunter Cassiopée (M642) and mine-route survey craft Altaïr, which have been on a visit to the capital for the St. Patrick's festivities.

At 1,760 tonnes the L.É. Eithne is not only the largest vessel of Ireland's eight-strong fleet but is also the last ship of any type built in the Republic of Ireland. For a photo of the 27-year-old ship seen off Cobh (where Cdr Ahern was born) click here.

The 80m vessel has a crew of 85 (9 Officers and 77 ratings). Her main armament is a Bofors 57mm anti-aircraft gun with a LIOD fire control system and two 20mm Rheinmetals.

In 1986 L.É. Eithne made a historic visit as the first Irish Naval Service ship to cross the Atlantic, where she sailed to the United States, visiting Hamilton, New York and Boston. A decade later she became the first Irish Naval ship to tour the continent of South America.

Published in Navy
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