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Minister Welcomes Return Of LÉ Eithne, Arrival Of LÉ James Joyce To Cork

17th July 2015
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LÉ Eithne returns to Haulbowline
LÉ Eithne returning to home base at Haulbowline after her eight-week deployment in the Mediterranean Aidan Fleming/Port of Cork
Minister Welcomes Return Of LÉ Eithne, Arrival Of LÉ James Joyce To Cork

#NavalService - After a successful nine-week deployment to assist in the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean, the Naval Service vessel LÉ Eithne returned today (Friday 17 July) to the Naval Base and Dockyard at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour where they were met by crowds of cheering families and friends.

A total of 3,377 people were rescued by LÉ Eithne from the waters between Libya and Sicily as part of the humanitarian operation to rescue migrants fleeing North Africa, codenamed Operation Pontus.

Minister for Defence and the Marine Simon Coveney said “I am delighted to welcome home LÉ Eithne and her crew from their service with the humanitarian operation in the Mediterranean under the leadership of Commander Pearse O’Donnell 

"The crew of LÉ Eithne have performed superbly throughout the deployment and have projected a positive image for our Navy and our country during their time in the Mediterranean."

Minister Coveney added: "The crew stepped up and exceeded expectations during this challenging deployment and I know that would not have been possible without the enormous support of their families and friends back home.

“I wish to express my appreciation and that of the Government for the excellent and courageous service you gave during your deployment to the Mediterranean.”

LÉ James Joyce welcomed to Cork Harbour
LÉ James Joyce is welcomed to Cork Harbour ahead of the Naval Service's official naming and launch (Photo: Aidan Fleming/Port of Cork)

LÉ Eithne joins the Naval Service’s newest ship LÉ James Joyce, which underwent final successful sea trials in the UK on Wednesday (15 July).

This ship is the second in a three-ship programme being built by Babcock Marine in Appledore, Devon for the Naval Service at an overall cost of around €200m. The first, LÉ Samuel Beckett, was commissioned into the Naval Service in May 2014.

LÉ James Joyce arrived back to the Naval Base in Haulbowline last night (Thursday 16 July) captained by Lt Cdr Brian Dempsey, a native of Clontarf on the north side of Dublin Bay. 

“I would like to commend the commitment of all concerned in ensuring the delivery of this high quality ship which will serve the country over the next 30 years," said Minister Coveney ahead of the chip's arrival.

The ship will be formally named and commissioned into the Naval Service at a later date. Meanwhile, work is well underway in Appledore on the build of the third ship which is due for delivery in July 2016.

MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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