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Displaying items by tag: naval service

The Irish Naval Vessel  LÉ James Joyce was positioned off Sandycove Point on Dublin Bay for over an hour today, close to the Martello Tower made famous by Irish writer James Joyce in his novel Ulysses.

The special Bloomsday tribute was made by the ship that was named after the author in 2015.

LE James Joyce departed Dún Laoghaire Harbour at 1430hrs and made its way across Scotsman's Bay where there were a number of shoreside Joycean gatherings being held.

Bloomsday celebrates Joyce's iconic Ulysses through performances, meals, readings, and dressing-up, especially at Sandycove.

As part of the celebrations, LÉ James Joyce flew "the oldest flag afloat, the flag of the province of Desmond & Thomond, three crowns on a blue field, the three sons of Milesius," as Joyce describes in Ulysses.

The Irish Naval Vessel  LÉ James Joyce (left) was positioned off Sandycove Point on Dublin Bay, close to the Martello Tower (right) on BloomsdayThe Irish Naval Vessel  LÉ James Joyce (left) was positioned off Sandycove Point on Dublin Bay, close to the Martello Tower (right) on Bloomsday.

The Napoleonic tower is where the author spent six nights in 1904. The opening scenes of his 1922 novel Ulysses take place there, and the building is a place of pilgrimage for Joyce enthusiasts, especially on Bloomsday.

Published in Dublin Bay

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Irish Government has announced the purchase of two naval vessels from New Zealand.

The two inshore patrol vessels — formerly the HMNZS Rotoiti and HMNZS Pukaki — will bolster Ireland’s maritime security as the Naval Service continues its recruitment drive.

Announcing the deal today, Sunday 13 March, Foreign Affairs and Defence Minister Simon Coveney said the purchase is part of plans to address “ongoing challenges” and regenerate the Naval Service.

“The investment of some €26 million in these two inshore patrol vessels will provide replacements for LÉ Orla and LÉ Ciara,” he added.

“These inshore patrol vessels have a lesser crewing requirement than the ships they replace, and will provide the Naval Service with an enhanced capacity to operate and undertake patrols in the Irish Sea on the East and South East Coast. This will allow the remaining fleet to focus on operations elsewhere.”

The minister said the two ships are expected to arrive in Ireland next year following works to restore them to Lloyd’s Classification.

He also reiterated that plans for the replacement of the flagship LÉ Eithne with a new multi-role vessel are under way “with consultants having been engaged with a view to initiating a tender competition in due course”.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Seán Clancy said: “The changing face of maritime security in the Irish Sea has highlighted a requirement for a specialist inshore capability in order to protect Irish interests.

“The procurement of these vessels strengthens the ability of the Naval Service to fulfil its role in protecting our national sovereignty and constitutes a strong vote of confidence in the Defence Forces by the minister and Government.”

Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service, Commodore Michael Malone added: “The acquisition of the IPVs will allow the Naval Service to continue to modernise and tackle the dynamic and ever changing maritime environment that we operate in 365 days a year.”

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An exhibition about the Naval Service has opened at the Passage West Maritime Museum, recounting how the Cork Harbour village has been a strong provider of Navy personnel.

Intriguingly, it includes a detailed account of 21 years’ service by local man Jim McIntyre, who enlisted at the age of 15 in October 1956. Recalling the days of corvettes and minesweepers, bought from the Royal Navy, he recounts that “crews were scarce in those days.”

Naval Exhibition at Passage West MuseumNaval Exhibition at Passage West Museum

That challenge faces the Naval Service again today, pointed out at the opening of the exhibition which follows the Commission on the Defence Forces Review that highlighted the need to increase personnel and ships.

Jim Mcintyre in the Engine Room of L.E.Maev in 1964Jim Mcintyre in the Engine Room of L.E.Maev in 1964

The Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service, Michael Malone, accepts that this is a challenging time for the Service. “But we have seen peaks and troughs over the years. People are slow to engage in joining the defence forces, but we will turn that corner. We will get the personnel we need. Seagoing is something you have to be dedicated to. We will get the personnel we need,” he told me in an interview at the Naval Base.

Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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Ireland’s Naval Service fleet should be expanded to an "optimum capacity" of nine vessels as part of a radical overhaul for “enhanced capability”, the report of the Commission on the Defence Forces recommends.

The publication of the report was welcomed today (Wednesday 9 February) by Defence Minister Simon Coveney, who said it “poses serious questions that we as a society must carefully consider”.

Among its numerous recommendations, the report advocates for a level of ambition for the future of the Defence Forces that requires “accelerating the upgrade of the naval fleet and operating it to an optimum level through double crewing and greater use of technology” — with an attendant 50% increase in annual defence spending.

An accelerated programme of naval vessel replacement “to ensure a balanced fleet of nine modern ships by early in the next decade” would be required, it adds.

And building on this, a further level of ambition calls for the fleet to expand to 12 ships — “Tier 3-type OPVs” — in order to “provide the Naval Service with maritime capabilities for defending the State from a conventional military attack”.

Currently the Naval Service has a fleet of nine vessels of which only five are operational.

In addition, the report recommends that the Naval Service, along with the Air Corps, should become a service “on a par with the Army, contributing to a joint strategic command at Defence Forces Headquarters and Joint Force Command.

“Given the importance of service parity, the names of [the Air Corps and Naval Service] should change to the Air Force and the Navy respectively,” it says.

A new role of Chief of the Navy would be created, and this person would be "responsible for maintaining an enhanced national Recognised Maritime Picture (RMP) that will monitor Irish territorial waters and Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone, and any infringements on Irish sovereignty would be detected and responded to".

Minister Coveney said the hopes the report “will foster real debate about the defence that we need as a modern European country”, noting that its recommendations “are forthright and challenge the status quo”.

He added that given its “significant recommendations”, a four-month process “to allow for detailed consideration” will now commence, involving consultation across Government departments and input from stakeholders, before he presents a proposed response and “high-level action plan” to the Government.

The release of the report comes in the wake of recent controversy surrounding Russia’s plans to conduct live-fire military drills within the waters of Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

As former Defence Forces chief of staff Mark Mellett told Lorna Siggins on the Wavelengths podcast, the situation poses questions for the EU’s defence strategy as well as Ireland’s policy of neutrality.

Published in Navy

The Naval Service and Air Corps say they have observed north America, Russian and French vessels both inside and outside Ireland's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) over the past week.

These observations include two Russian warships within the Irish EEZ and a third warship believed to be a NATO vessel.

In footage captured between January 31st and February 3rd, the Defence Forces press office say they have also observed a British RAF combat aircraft south-east of and outside the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The international naval vessels are transmitting on the automatic identification system (AIS) and are outside Irish territorial waters – as in the 12- mile limit – the press office states.

Russian Vessel EKHOROVRussian Vessel EKHOROV

The Defence Forces press office says that this activity is “in line with UN Convention on the Law Of the Sea (UNCLOS) rules for transit through international waters”.

French Navy 793French Navy 793

It says that under UNCLOS, there is “no restriction on warships operating on the high seas inside and outside of EEZs”.

US Navy 80US Navy 80

This point has been disputed this week by Prof Clive Symmons of Trinity College, Dublin, who is an international maritime law expert, and who says Ireland is within its rights to decline requests for military exercises within its EEZ.

However, military ships are allowed a right of freedom of passage under UNCLOS, he says.

RAF Eurofighter TyphoonRAF Eurofighter Typhoon

Images were taken by the Air Corps Casa maritime patrol aircraft “Charlie 252” include a number of US, Russian, French and UK warships south-east of and outside Irish EEZ during daylight hours between January 31st and February 3rd.

RAF Eurofighter Typhoon jets were observed in the vicinity of these ships, and the Naval Service patrol ship LE Samuel Beckett was in the area.

Russian vessel 055Russian vessel 055

During nighttime on the same dates, “Charlie 252” observed two Russian warships within Ireland’s EEZ, and a “third warship also in the vicinity which is believed to be a NATO vessel”.

Russian vessel 461Russian vessel 461

All footage and images were taken between 31 Jan - 03 Feb 2022.

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The Naval Service has acquired two state-of-the-art recompression units that could help save the lives of divers with ‘the bends’, as the Irish Examiner reports.

The larger of the two — at naval headquarters on Haulbowline in Cork Harbour — can hold as many as eight people at a time, while the smaller, one-person unit weighs only 250kg and can be taken out to sea to allow for much swifter treatment of decompression sickness.

More commonly known as the bends, decompression sickness afflicts divers who surface too quickly, such that the rapid decrease in pressure around them causes nitrogen bubbles to form in blood and tissue.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

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“We are mission ready and interoperable with international Navies at home and overseas,” the Naval Service, which celebrated its 75th year of foundation this year, says in the Defence Forces ‘Year in Review’ annual report issued today.

It records a ‘first’ for the Service this year: “In April the Naval Service achieved NATO accreditation by completing the OCC self-evaluation. This was a first for the Service.”

The Navy arrested nine fishing boats during the year in 269 inspections. Irish, British, French, Spanish, Dutch, Norwegian, Russian, Belgian and boats from the Faroes were inspected.

The full Maritime section of the report describes Naval activities in detail:

75th Anniversary - The Naval Service celebrated 75 years from its foundation this year. Various events culminated in September with fleet exercises, a review by An Taoiseach and a parade of sail into Dublin and Cork. Naval vessels were escorted by the Air Corps and Irish Coastguard and were met in Cork by their colleagues in the emergency services.

Fisheries - So far this year, the Naval Service has conducted 269 fisheries boarding’s resulting in nine (9) detentions. The Naval Service patrols 220 million maritime acres of sea (over twelve times the land mass of Ireland) representing 15% of Europe’s fisheries. Fishing vessels from Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Belgium and The Faroes were boarded and inspected in 2021.

NSDS - The Naval Service Dive Section (NSDS) was deployed to 20 operations so far this year. Military Operations include underwater maintenance of the Naval Service Fleet, maintenance of Service Level Agreements with External Agencies, and berth surveys/clearances for visiting ships. The Naval Service Dive Section was involved in one (1) Search and Recovery operation following a request from the Coast Guard. One (1) deceased individual was recovered in the process of this search and returned to their loved ones.

Search and Rescue (SAR) - There have been eleven (11) separate SAR responses from the NS this year, a number of them attracting media attention.

Protests - During 2021 there were some civilian protests at Cork and Dublin sea ports. The Naval Service provided Rigid Inflatable Boats and personnel providing a safety role.

NATO Operational Capability Concept (OCC) - In April of this year the Naval service achieved NATO accreditation by completing the OCC self-evaluation. This was a first for the Naval Service and ensures we are mission ready and interoperable with international navies at home and overseas.

Naval Service Variant DPM - On the 1st of May Naval Service Personnel changed over from the GDR rig to our new Naval Service DPM uniform. This uniform was the result of years of research and combines breathability and comfort with increased fire and safety properties while promoting the Defence Forces brand.

L.E.P - L.É ROISIN completed her Life Extension Programme (LEP) in April bringing to a close a 25-month long project which ensures the continued availability of key Naval Assets. Following suit, L.É NIAMH has now entered her LEP which will continue into 2022.

MAOC-N Medal - In October Cdr Cathal Power was awarded the MAOC-N medal in recognition of the work by the Naval Service Operations and Intelligence Team in countering drug trafficking. The Naval Service in conjunction with our Joint Task Force colleagues were instrumental in providing intelligence that led to major seizures by MAOC-N partner agencies this year.

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Cove Sailing Club is looking forward to seeing a big turnout for this year’s Cobh to Blackrock Race on Saturday 4 September.

Starting from Cobh at 2pm and finishing at Blackrock Castle, the 2021 race is extra special as the club is helping the Naval Service commemorate its 75th anniversary.

Festivities on the day include a parade of sail from Cork Harbour up to the city quays, providing a fitting spectacle on the River Lee.

Last year’s class honours were claimed by Nieulargo, Don’t Dilly Dally and Prince of Tides, and all three boats have registered for this year’s race — see the list on the club website, where you can also find the Notice of Race for class bands and details (open to IRC, ECHO and Trad classes).

This event will run in accordance with COVID restrictions and prize-giving will take place either on the stern of a Navy vessel or the quay wall overlooking the city marina, with only winners invited to come and receive one of the many prizes sponsored by Union Chandlery.

There’s still time to register your intent to participate in the race HERE.

Published in Cove Sailing Club

The Naval Ship LE Samuel Beckett, with Minister for Defence Simon Coveney on board, sailed through Dublin Port and the Tom Clarke Bridge to Sir John Rogerson’s Quay today accompanied by an Air Corps flyover as part of the Naval Service’s 75-year anniversary celebrations.

The vessel berthed alongside the James Joyce, William Butler Yates & George Bernard Shaw vessels which arrived on Monday.

This week’s manoeuvres saw the fleet converge on the capital, first with a Guard of Honour for Defence Minister Simon Coveney in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this morning at 9.15 am.

At 10 am, the LÉ Samuel Beckett departed Dun Laoghaire for the River Liffey in Dublin under a gun salute from the Army’s 2 Brigade Artillery Regiment.

On arrival in the city, the vessel took a salute from sister ships of the P60 class at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, where there was also be an Air Corps helicopter fly-past.

The fleet is open to the public on Wednesday.

Naval Service 75 Year Anniversary Celebrations at Dublin Port. Photo Gallery by Shane O’Neill

Published in Navy

The Naval Service is currently engaged in Fleet Exercise 75 (FLEX75) in advance of celebrating the 75th anniversary of its founding tomorrow, Wednesday 1 September.

To ensure they remain fully prepared to respond to maritime security-related incidents or seaborne threats, Ireland’s navy ships and personnel conduct regular scenario-based training exercises such as FLEX75.

This week’s manoeuvres will see the fleet converge on the capital, first with a Guard of Honour for Defence Minister Simon Coveney in Dun Laoghaire Harbour tomorrow morning at 9.15am.

On the bridge with a Dublin-bound Naval Service crew taking part in Fleet Exercise 75 | Credit: Irish Naval Service/FacebookOn the bridge with a Dublin-bound Naval Service crew taking part in Fleet Exercise 75 | Credit: Irish Naval Service/Facebook

Following this, at 10am, the LÉ Samuel Beckett will depart Dun Laoghaire for the River Liffey in Dublin under a gun salute from the Army’s 2 Brigade Artillery Regiment.

On arrival in the city (ETA 11.40am), the vessel will take a salute from sister ships of the P60 class at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, where there will also be an Air Corps helicopter fly-past.

All are invited to “meet the fleet” as part of the celebrations and in line with national COVID guidelines. There will also be a recruitment stand to answer any questions about signing up for a new career in the Defence Forces.

Follow the Irish Naval Service social media channels and hashtag #IrishNavy75 for more throughout the week, including updated on events in Cork Harbour at the weekend.

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Cork Harbour Information

It’s one of the largest natural harbours in the world – and those living near Cork Harbour insist that it’s also one of the most interesting.

This was the last port of call for the most famous liner in history, the Titanic, but it has been transformed into a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

The harbour has been a working port and a strategic defensive hub for centuries, and it has been one of Ireland's major employment hubs since the early 1900s. Traditional heavy industries have waned since the late 20th century, with the likes of the closure of Irish Steel in Haulbowline and shipbuilding at Verolme. It still has major and strategic significance in energy generation, shipping and refining.

Giraffe wander along its shores, from which tens of thousands of men and women left Ireland, most of them never to return. The harbour is home to the oldest yacht club in the world, and to the Irish Navy. 

This deep waterway has also become a vital cog in the Irish economy.

‘Afloat.ie's Cork Harbour page’ is not a history page, nor is it a news focus. It’s simply an exploration of this famous waterway, its colour and its characters.

Cork Harbour Festival

Ocean to City – An Rás Mór and Cork Harbour Open Day formerly existed as two popular one-day events located at different points on Cork’s annual maritime calendar. Both event committees recognised the synergy between the two events and began to work together and share resources. In 2015, Cork Harbour Festival was launched. The festival was shaped on the open day principle, with Ocean to City – An Ras Mór as the flagship event.

Now in its sixth year, the festival has grown from strength to strength. Although the physical 2020 festival was cancelled due to Covid-19, the event normally features nine festival days starting on the first week of June. It is packed full of events; all made possible through collaboration with over 50 different event partners in Cork City, as well as 15 towns and villages along Cork Harbour. The programme grows year by year and highlights Ireland’s rich maritime heritage and culture as well as water and shore-based activities, with Ocean to City – An Rás Mór at the heart of the festival.

Taking place at the centre of Ireland’s maritime paradise, and at the gateway to Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, Cork is perfectly positioned to deliver the largest and most engaging harbour festival in Ireland.

The Cork Harbour Festival Committee includes representatives from Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Port of Cork, UCC MaREI, RCYC, Cobh & Harbour Chamber and Meitheal Mara.

Marinas in Cork Harbour

There are six marinas in Cork Harbour. Three in Crosshaven, one in East Ferry, one in Monkstown Bay and a new facility is opening in 2020 at Cobh. Details below

Port of Cork City Marina

Location – Cork City
Contact – Harbour Masters Dept., Port of Cork Tel: +353 (0)21 4273125 or +353 (0)21 4530466 (out of office hours)

Royal Cork Yacht Club Marina

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0) 21 4831023

Crosshaven Boatyard Marina

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)21 4831161

Salve Marina Ltd

Location: Crosshaven, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0) 21 4831145

Cork Harbour Marina

Location: Monkstown, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)87 3669009

East Ferry Marina

Location: East Ferry, Co. Cork
Contact: +353 (0)21 4813390

New Cove Sailing Club Marina

(to be opened in 2020)

Location: Cobh, Co. Cork
Contact: 087 1178363

Cork Harbour pontoons, slipways and ramps

Cork City Boardwalk Existing pontoon

Port of Cork 100m. pontoon

Cork city – End of Cornmarket St. steps and slip;

Cork city - Proby’s Qy. Existing limited access slip

Quays Bar & Restaurant, Private pontoon and ramp for patrons, suitable for yachts, small craft town and amenities

Cobh harbour [camber] Slip and steps inside quay wall pontoon

Fota (zoo, house, gardens) Derelict pontoon and steps

Haulbowline naval basin; restricted space Naval base; restricted access;

Spike Island pier, steps; slip, pontoon and ramp

Monkstown wooden pier and steps;

Crosshaven town pier, with pontoon & steps

East Ferry Marlogue marina, Slip (Great Island side) visitors’ berths

East Ferry Existing pier and slip; restricted space East Ferry Inn (pub)
(Mainland side)

Blackrock pier and slips

Ballinacurra Quay walls (private)

Aghada pier and slip, pontoon & steps public transport links

Whitegate Slip

Passage West Pontoon

Glenbrook Cross-river ferry

Ringaskiddy Parking with slip and pontoon Ferry terminal; village 1km.

Carrigaloe pier and slip; restricted space; Cross-river ferry;

Fountainstown Slip

White’s Bay beach

Ringabella beach

Glanmire Bridge and tide restrictions

Old Glanmire - Quay

Cork Harbour Festival & Ocean to City Race

Following the cancellation of the 2020 event, Cork Harbour Festival will now take place 5 – 13 June 2021, with the Flagship Ocean to City An Rás Mór on 5 June.

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