Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Irish Navy Ships
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney TD said that the Naval Service needs a “response” from him well in advance of a Commission which is to be set up to examine all aspects of Defence.
Taking control at the Department of Defence is Tánaiste Simon Coveney who said one of his immediate priorities in the role will be to address the manpower crisis in the Naval Service, writes Irish Examiner. A year ago, the navy…
At the bow sailors on board the Irish Naval Service vessel LE Eithne as the HPV ship prepared to depart (Tuesday) Cork city quays after the end of a role in support of the HSE in the fight against Covid-19 coronavirus. AFLOAT hightlights the removed Main Armament of the ship which consisted of the bow-mounted Bofors 57mm Canon / LIOD Fire Control System. As RTE reported on Wednesday when the HPV departed, the ship was returning into operational reserve at the Naval Base on Haulbowline in lower Cork Harbour.
Following three months from a new recruitment drive that was unveiled to entice former members of the Defence Forces to rejoin, not one of the 646 applicants is back in uniform. Just 12 have been chosen so far to be…
Covid-19: Port of Cork tug Gerry O’Sullivan paying its own water display tribute to the Naval Service flagship LÉ Eithne as the HPV was the last of the six naval vessels deployed under Operation Fortitute. The flagship returned downriver to the Naval Base at Haulbowline and into operational reserve (according to RTE News). In the foreground AFLOAT adds at Albert Quay is berthed Arklow Fame, the last 'sea-going' ship to use the dry-dock in Dublin Port as reported when it closed in 2016, though the Liffey based 'static museum tallship' Jeanie Johnston was the last vessel to use the facility.
In Cork City along the quays the Health Service Executive paid special thanks to the Defence Forces for its support during Covid-19 at a ceremony (yesterday). Frontline staff and members of the emergency services deployed their blue emergency lights and…
Crew shortage in the Naval Service
A year ago after being forced to tie-up two ships due to manpower shortages, the Naval Service continues to haemorrhage personnel and may have to take another vessel off operational duties later this year. Military sources have told the Irish…
A bow on view of the Naval Service's LÉ Samuel Beckett's hull (3.8m draught) as the offshore patrol vessel is currently in the graving dry-dock (165.5m) of Cork Dockyard
Cork Dockyard's latest client is the Irish Naval Service's OPV90 /P60 series LÉ Samuel Beckett (P61) which berthed in the graving dock previously occupied by another Irish flagged ship, the general cargo containership Huelin Dispatch, writes Jehan Ashmore. The facility…
RACO says that, despite Government commitments to boost numbers, they have fallen to an all-time low of 8,485. Above AFLOAT adds is the crew of LÉ Niamh (P52) which a decade ago made a ten-week trade & diplomatic mission to South America in 2010. The 'P52' travelled over 18,000 nautical miles passing through the famous Panama Canal.
The representative body of Irish Defence Forces Officer grades has warned that if immediate, significant retention initiatives are not implemented, the forces will not only never return to its target strength of 9,500, but will continue to decline. As RTE…
LÉ William Butler Yeats in Dublin on COVID-19 duties on the River Liffey
Naval Service patrol ship LÉ William Butler Yeats left Dublin today to return to routine security operations as Covid-19 community testing centres on ships are stood down. Six ships have rotated duty in the three ports of Dublin, Galway and…
LE Ciara
A French registered fishing vessel has been detailed for alleged breaches of fishing regulations by the Naval Service. The vessel was fishing approximately 120 nautical miles south-west of Mizen Head, Co Cork, last night when it was apprehended by the…
In this mid-April scene was according to the Naval Service the LÉ Eithne (P31) berthed at Albert Quay in Cork city, which is supporting the S/SW Region of the HSE. At the same time the navy continued framework operations and training with the navy deploying RIB boats on patrols of the River Lee. Also above two crew members, Able Seaman Adam Duggan (NSR) and Able Seaman Sean O’Leary were conducting such an exercise.
Former members of the Defence Forces numbering more than 500 have applied to re-enlist in the military. A scheme, introduced by Minister with responsibility for defence, Paul Kehoe, allows for ex-members to rejoin for a minimum of six months and…
The vessel was detained by the LÉ George Bernard Shaw (pictured) 180 nautical miles west of Mizen Head
A French registered fishing vessel has been detained by the Naval Service off the south-west coast. The vessel was detained by the LÉ George Bernard Shaw 180 nautical miles west of Mizen Head for an alleged breach of fishing regulations.…
Having arrived on St Patrick’s Day, LÉ William Butler Yeats (foreground) departed the Port of Galway yesterday and met in Galway Bay replacement offshore patrol vessel, LÉ James Joyce which took over helping the HSE in conducting Covid-19 testing at the mid-west harbour.
Since the St. Patrick's Day arrival of LÉ William Butler Yeats to Galway Harbour to assist the HSE in the critical role of conducting Covid-19 testing, the offshore patrol vessel however departed yesterday with a handover of another OPV, writes Jehan…
Dublin's Docklands: Field tents erected by the Irish Army in efforts to assist the HSE Covid-19 Virus Testing Centre on the Liffey Quays, Dublin has so far involved three OPV (above L.E. Samuel Beckett) of the Naval Service take in turns to also run and provide help with ships used as quayside bases. NOTE: The Naval Service have announced that former personnel are encouraged to re-enlist and join the fight against #COVID19 - (see below for details).
When the P60 class L.E. Samuel Beckett took up critical supporting duties along with the army to assist the HSE establish a Covid-19 virus testing centre on the Liffey in Dublin last month, a further two navy patrol vessels have…
A tented field hospital beside the Naval patrol ship, LE William Butler Yeats in Galway Docks
Defence Force staff set up a tented field hospital beside the Naval patrol ship, LE William Butler Yeats, yesterday (sun) in preparation for use as a Covid-19 testing centre writes Lorna Siggins A marquee was erected beside the ship in…
Helping Out: Army-style field hospitals to be used in worst-case scenario. AFLOAT adds note the tents on the quayside of the Naval Service offshore patrol vessel L.E. Samuel Beckett berthed in Dublin on the Liffey
The Tánaiste Simon Coveney said Ireland was effectively doubling the size of the health service - and would use army-style field hospitals if required in the worst-case scenario. The (Naval Service) patrol ships deployed to Dublin, Cork and Galway now…
Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, Chief of Staff of Irish Defence Forces who on this St. Patrick's Day refers to the words of Seamus Heaney to rally the nation in these unprecedented times
Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, Chief of Staff of (Óglaigh na hÉireann) the Irish Defence Forces among them the Naval Service, has reflected on this St. Patrick’s Day that we can pause, nourish and gain resilience with words like Seamus Heaney’s…
Action Required is Urgent to Meet Security Threats from Sea, Air & Online - Report
In an urgent need to address gaps in maritime and air security, and the threat posed by cyber attacks, they feature prominently in submissions made to the country's first national security strategy. A total of 60 submissions have been made…

The Irish Navy Fleet

The Naval Service is the State's principal seagoing agency. The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps.

The fleet comprises one Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV), three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), two Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) and two Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPV). Each vessel is equipped with state of the art machinery, weapons, communications and navigation systems.

LÉ EITHNE P31

LE Eithne was built in Verlome Dockyard in Cork and was commissioned into service in 1984. She patrols the Irish EEZ and over the years she has completed numerous foreign deployments.

Type Helicopter Patrol Vessel
Length 80.0m
Beam 12m
Draught 4.3m
Main Engines 2 X Ruston 12RKC Diesels6, 800 HP2 Shafts
Speed 18 knots
Range 7000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 55 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 7 December 1984

LÉ ORLA P41

L.É. Orla was formerly the HMS SWIFT a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in 1993 when she conducted the biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at the time, with her interception and boarding at sea of the 65ft ketch, Brime.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)

LÉ CIARA P42

L.É. Ciara was formerly the HMS SWALLOW a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in Nov 1999 when she conducted the second biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at that time, with her interception and boarding at sea of MV POSIDONIA of the south-west coast of Ireland.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)

LÉ ROISIN P51

L.É. Roisin (the first of the Roisín class of vessel) was built in Appledore Shipyards in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She was built to a design that optimises her patrol performance in Irish waters (which are some of the roughest in the world), all year round. For that reason a greater length overall (78.8m) was chosen, giving her a long sleek appearance and allowing the opportunity to improve the conditions on board for her crew. 

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001

LÉ NIAMH P52

L.É. Niamh (the second of the Róisín class) was built in Appledore Shipyard in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She is an improved version of her sister ship, L.É.Roisin

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001

LÉ SAMUEL BECKETT P61

LÉ Samuel Beckett is an Offshore Patrol Vessel built and fitted out to the highest international standards in terms of safety, equipment fit, technological innovation and crew comfort. She is also designed to cope with the rigours of the North-East Atlantic.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ JAMES JOYCE P62

LÉ James Joyce is an Offshore Patrol Vessel and represents an updated and lengthened version of the original RÓISÍN Class OPVs which were also designed and built to the Irish Navy specifications by Babcock Marine Appledore and she is truly a state of the art ship. She was commissioned into the naval fleet in September 2015. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to end of September 2016, rescuing 2491 persons and recovering the bodies of 21 deceased

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS P63

L.É. William Butler Yeats was commissioned into the naval fleet in October 2016. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to October 2017, rescuing 704 persons and recovering the bodies of three deceased.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ GEORGE BERNARD SHAW P64

LÉ George Bernard Shaw (pennant number P64) is the fourth and final ship of the P60 class vessels built for the Naval Service in Babcock Marine Appledore, Devon. The ship was accepted into State service in October 2018, and, following a military fit-out, commenced Maritime Defence and Security Operations at sea.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

Ship information courtesy of the Defence Forces

About the Irish Navy

The Navy maintains a constant presence 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout Ireland’s enormous and rich maritime jurisdiction, upholding Ireland’s sovereign rights. The Naval Service is tasked with a variety of roles including defending territorial seas, deterring intrusive or aggressive acts, conducting maritime surveillance, maintaining an armed naval presence, ensuring right of passage, protecting marine assets, countering port blockades; people or arms smuggling, illegal drugs interdiction, and providing the primary diving team in the State.

The Service supports Army operations in the littoral and by sea lift, has undertaken supply and reconnaissance missions to overseas peace support operations and participates in foreign visits all over the world in support of Irish Trade and Diplomacy.  The eight ships of the Naval Service are flexible and adaptable State assets. Although relatively small when compared to their international counterparts and the environment within which they operate, their patrol outputs have outperformed international norms.

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Wave button for Afloat new dates

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating