Minister for Defence, Mr. Tony Killeen, T.D. visited the L.E. Aoife which was in Kilrush, Co. Clare, on Saturday as part of the festivities surrounding the West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association's (WIORA) Yacht Racing Championship.
The event was hosted by the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland. Photos of the event on the Afloat gallery here.
Minister Killeen was welcomed on board by the Captain of the L.E. Aoife, Lieutenant Commander Michael Kennelly, who escorted the Minister on a tour of the ship and introduced the crew to him.
The ship, which was built at Verlome Shipyard near Cobh, recently celebrated 30 years service to the State and the Minister acknowledged the many achievements that the ship has had over the years.
Minister Killeen said "I am delighted to have the L.E. Aoife here in Kilrush and to have the opportunity to come on board and meet Lieutenant Commander Kennelly and the crew. I am very impressed to hear that the L.E Aoife has steamed a total of 525,000 nautical miles in her lifetime."
The Minister continued "I know that in 1985 the L.E. Aoife led the operation that found the flight recorder, the so called "black box" from the Air India disaster off the South West Coast. The 25th anniversary of this disaster was commemorated last week"
Concluding the Minister thanked the Captain and his crew for their excellent service and wished them continued success in the future. "I would like to thank the crew for their excellent service to their country. The contribution that they make in preventing illegal fishing and drug smuggling is invaluable to the State." the Minister said