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Trio of European Neighbouring Nation's Navies to Visit Dublin Port Over May Bank Holiday

4th May 2018
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The Belgium Navy's frigate BNS Louise-Marine (F931) one of three European naval visitors that are today to arrive in Dublin Port and remain over the May Bank Holiday weekend. The Belgium Navy's frigate BNS Louise-Marine (F931) one of three European naval visitors that are today to arrive in Dublin Port and remain over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Photo: Belgium Navy - facebook

#NavalVisits - Navies from neighbouring nations of France, Belgium and the Netherlands are to arrive in Dublin Port today in advance of the May Bank Holiday Weekend, with one ship from each navy visiting, writes Jehan Ashmore.

First to arrive is the French Navy's Éridan class minehunter Andromède (M 643) one of the 'Tripartite' vessels completed in collaboration of the three visiting navies to the Irish capital.

Already in the port to welcome the trio of European naval visitors is the Naval Service's OPV90 class L.E. William Butler Yeats (see story). The second of three 'Beckett' class sisters in service, arrived on Tueday and is berthed at Sir John Rogerson's Quay.

While across Dublin Bay, is where yesterday CPV L.E. Ciara docked in Dun Loaghaire Harbour where an unusual caller the ro-ro Stena Carrier underwent a survey. Some of the '4Runner' class sisters down the years have been chartered to the UK's Royal Fleet Auxiliary and NATO. 

Returning to Dublin Port is where Andromède is to berth at Sir John Rogersons Quay closer to the centre of the capital. It was in the French capital yesterday where Minister for Agriculture Food & Marine, Michael Creed TD met his French counterpart, Stephane Travert.

Afloat adds during the French naval visit, the Association of Veterans of the Foreign Legion in Ireland meets for the annual commemoration of the Battle of Camarón. The ceremony this year will take place on the Bank Holiday Monday, 5 May at 11:45 am at Collins Barracks. This free event is open to all to attend at the venue close to the banks of the Liffey.

As for this morning, the Dutch Navy's HNMLS Evertsen (F805) is to make an appearance albeit docking at a deeper quay downriver. The vessel is the fourth De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

The third visitor, the Belgian Navy's BNS Louise-Marine (F931) will arrive in the afternoon and is to berth next to Andromède. The final caller to the capital is the second of a pair of Karel Doorman-class frigates of the Belgian Maritime Component (the official name of the navy). The frigate commissioned in 2008 was acquired three years previously from the Netherlands Navy.

Published in Naval Visits
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Naval Visits focuses on forthcoming courtesy visits by foreign navies from our nearest neighbours, to navies from European Union and perhaps even those navies from far-flung distant shores.

In covering these Naval Visits, the range of nationality arising from these vessels can also be broad in terms of the variety of ships docking in our ports.

The list of naval ship types is long and they perform many tasks. These naval ships can include coastal patrol vessels, mine-sweepers, mine-hunters, frigates, destroyers, amphibious dock-landing vessels, helicopter-carriers, submarine support ships and the rarer sighting of submarines.

When Naval Visits are made, it is those that are open to the public to come on board, provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate up close and personal, what these look like and what they can do and a chance to discuss with the crew.

It can make even more interesting for visitors when a flotilla arrives, particularly comprising an international fleet, adding to the sense of curiosity and adding a greater mix to the type of vessels boarded.

All of this makes Naval Visits a fascinating and intriguing insight into the role of navies from abroad, as they spend time in our ports, mostly for a weekend-long call, having completed exercises at sea.

These naval exercises can involve joint co-operation between other naval fleets off Ireland, in the approaches of the Atlantic, and way offshore of the coasts of western European countries.

In certain circumstances, Naval Visits involve vessels which are making repositioning voyages over long distances between continents, having completed a tour of duty in zones of conflict.

Joint naval fleet exercises bring an increased integration of navies within Europe and beyond. These exercises improve greater co-operation at EU level but also internationally, not just on a political front, but these exercises enable shared training skills in carrying out naval skills and also knowledge.

Naval Visits are also reciprocal, in that the Irish Naval Service, has over the decades, visited major gatherings overseas, while also carrying out specific operations on many fronts.

Ireland can, therefore, be represented through these ships that also act as floating ambassadorial platforms, supporting our national interests.

These interests are not exclusively political in terms of foreign policy, through humanitarian commitments, but are also to assist existing trade and tourism links and also develop further.

Equally important is our relationship with the Irish diaspora, and to share this sense of identity with the rest of the World.

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