#navalvisitors - Navies from three EU member states have become the first foreign naval visitors of the year to call to Dublin Port having taken up berths since mid-week, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Over the previous two days, French, British and Dutch navies in that order have arrived to the capital and which has led to berths occupied at Ocean Pier, the marina at the Poolbeg Y&BC and at the North Quay Wall Extension. Next to the pier's Extension is the Tom Clarke (East-Link) bridge from where it should be possible to view all five visiting vessels.
As these naval vessels have occuppied berths within the more secure corden of the port's main estate located beyond the East-Link, they will not be open to public visits. Subsequent naval visitors, however may instead arrive to berth upriver along the Liffey Quays and hold public tours (or not as the case can be). Along this river bank is Sir John Rogersons Quay where such tours have been held and is convenient for the public to access given the close proximity of the capital's centre.
On this current call of naval visitors, the berth at Ocean Pier is where the French Navy's high-sea patrol vessel Premier maître l'Her is docked. The corvette is of the Estienne d'Orves class. Among its armoury is a SIMBAD anti-aircraft missile system. A sister Lieutenant de vaisseau Le Hénaff visited the port in 2017 but on that occasion headed upriver to berth along Sir John Rogersons Quay as pictured above.
Opposite of Ocean Pier on the south bank of the Liffey is the Poolbeg Marina, where the UK's Royal Navy presence consists of a trio of P2000 Archer class fast inshore patrol boats. The leadship of the class HMS Archer is joined by HMS Example and HMS Explorer.
These small craft provide training and maritime experience for University Royal Naval Unit students. In addition the URNU also provide support to wider Fleet tasking and exercises around the UK and Europe waters.
As for the waters of Dublin Port, the Royal Nederlands Navy is represented on this visit by HNLMS Van Speijk. This is the last ship of eight Karel Doorman-class multi-purpose frigates serving the Dutch navy and which was commissioned in 1995. Likewise of the French visitor, this frigate includes missiles in the form of the Sea Sparrow system.