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Navy's LE Samuel Beckett is Named, LE James Joyce to Follow Next Year

19th May 2014
Navy's LE Samuel Beckett is Named, LE James Joyce to Follow Next Year

#navy – Following a tender competition the first of two new ships for the Irish Navy arrived into Dublin for a naming ceremony at the weekend. See time lapse arrival of her arrival up the River Liffey above.  As Afloat reported previously An Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Mr. Enda Kenny, T.D. attended the naming and commissioning ceremonies for the new Naval Service ship, LÉ Samuel Beckett beside the Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin city centre. The naming ceremony was carried out by a niece of Samuel Beckett, Mrs. Caroline Murphy. The second ship, James Joyce is to arrive in 2015.

The contract for the new ships was signed in October 2010, with Babcock Marine, part of the Babcock International Group, in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Naval Service to be built in Appledore, Devon, United Kingdom (same shipyard where both LÉ Roisin and LÉ. Niamh were built over a decade ago).

The new ships are larger vessels than LÉ Roisin and LÉ Niamh with a length of 89.5m.The cost of the two new ships is €108m, exclusive of VAT.

This is a replacement programme – LÉ Samuel Beckett replaces LÉ Emer which was decommissioned and sold late last year. The ship will be used mainly for fishery protection patrols.

LÉ Samuel Beckett arrived home to the Naval Base, Haulbowline, Cork on Wednesday 30th April 2014. The ships first captain is Commander Ken Minehane from Bantry. The ship will have a main crew of 44.

Work on the second ship (LÉ James Joyce) is well advanced and it should be completed early in 2015. LÉ James Joyce will replace LÉ Aoife.

Brief Specification of the LE Samuel Beckett

Class of Ship

Offshore Patrol Vessel


89.5 metres


14 metres


3.8 metres

Max Speed

23 knots


2 x Wartsila Diesel Engines, 2 shafts, 10000kw


44 crew plus 10 trainees

Main Weapons

1 x 76mm Oto Melara Compact Naval Gun

2 x 20mm RH 202 Rheinmetall Cannon

2 x 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun’s

4 x 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun’s   


Published in Navy Team

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