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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Harbour

At noon this Christmas Eve at the end of the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew will gather to lay wreaths at sea and remember 15 of their lifeboat colleagues who were lost while on service in gale force conditions to the SS Palme that had run aground off Blackrock, back in 1895.

The annual ceremony, which has become a Christmas Eve tradition for the station, also remembers all those who have drowned around our coasts, in rivers, inland waters and abroad.

The ceremony will see lifeboat crew joined by members of the Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard and Civil Defence, who will form an honour guard. Both Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s inshore and all-weather lifeboat will launch, and the crew will lay wreaths off the east pier in view of the public. This year broadcaster, PJ Gallagher, will read an account of the disaster, published at the time of the tragedy.

Joe O’Donnell of ‘Wedding Pipers’ will play a lament from the Lighthouse Battery and musician, William Byrne, will perform the ‘Ballad of the Palme.’

On 24 December 1895, the 'Civil Service No. 1' Dun Laoghaire lifeboat was wrecked while proceeding to the assistance of the SS Palme of Finland. The entire crew, 15 in total, were drowned. The lifeboat capsized 600 yards from the distressed vessel and, although every effort was made to send help to the lifeboat and to the Palme, nothing could be done.

The second Dun Laoghaire lifeboat 'Hannah Pickard' also launched but it too capsized under sail, fortunately, all crew returned safely. The Captain, his wife, child and 17 crew were eventually rescued on the 26th of December by the SS Tearaght.

The short ceremony takes place under the lighthouse at the end of the East Pier. It includes an ecumenical blessing, a reading from a news article published at the time and music.

Commenting on the event, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Ed Totterdell said, ‘The loss of fifteen lifeboat volunteers devastated the local community at the time but the RNLI here kept going. Volunteer lifeboat crew came forward then, as they still do, to help those in trouble at sea and on inland waters. We hold this ceremony to honour their memory but also to remember all those we have lost to drowning.’

‘Our lifeboat crew is on call this Christmas as they are every day of the year, and we hope everyone has a safe and peaceful time. We are also delighted to welcome back PJ Gallagher, who was a valued member of our crew when he lived in Dun Laoghaire and who remains a great friend of the lifeboat service in Ireland. People are very welcome to come and join us at the end of the East Pier, it’s our Christmas tradition and one that is very special to us.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Warm tributes were paid to Dun Laoghaire Harbourmaster Captain Simon Coate at his retirement party held at the National Yacht Club on Thursday evening (December 15th).

Dun Laoghaire County Council Chief executive Frank Curran joined colleagues Aidan Blighe, Director of Municipal Services and Operations Manager Tim Ryan in recognising Simon for over 30 years of service to the town as Harbour Master and Port Operations Manager.

The special gathering, which included the Coate family, had representatives from the harbour community; coastguard members, yacht clubs, watersports members and waterfront businesses. 

The Coates (from left Linda, Rachel, Simon, Céline and Jonny) at Simon's retirement party held at the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire HarbourThe Coates (from left Linda, Rachel, Simon, Céline and Jonny) at Simon's retirement party held at the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Captain Coate is handing over a bustling scene both afloat and ashore to incoming Harbourmaster Harry Duggan.

Changing of the watch - Simon Coate hands over to new Dun Laoghaire Harbourmaster Harry DugganChanging of the watch - Simon Coate hands over to new Dun Laoghaire Harbourmaster Harry Duggan (left)

As Afloat reported previously, significant changes have arrived at Dun Laoghaire Harbour this summer as the country's biggest marine leisure centre - and Ireland's largest man-made harbour -  gears up for a brighter maritime future under the new ownership of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

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Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is offering an exciting opportunity for watersports providers to occupy premises in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The move is part of an effort by the local authority, which took control of the harbour in 2018, to grow public engagement with watersports in what’s widely renowned as a centre for sailing in Ireland.

“The ambition for this project is to provide a base/facility for public-facing watersports providers in this historical setting,” it says.

“Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is committed to encouraging and supporting the growth in sports participation generally, and specifically in watersports along the coastline and within the harbour.

“The proposal should help activate and enliven the space, bringing life and amenity to this part of the harbour,” it adds, referring to the Coal Harbour where the three self-contained off-grid container-based commercial units will be found.

Applications are due by 5pm on Friday 13 January 2023 via the eTenders website.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI hosted their first annual "Jingle Mingle" in their RNLI shop on Saturday, 26 November and brought in €2,500 for the charity. 

While raising vital funds, this event brought together and celebrated all the volunteers at Dun Laoghaire RNLI who dedicate their time to saving lives at sea.

Held in Dun Laoghaire’s Lifeboat Station and RNLI shop on the East Pier of Dun Laoghaire’s famous 200+-year-old Victorian port, the crew of volunteers invited all locals and visitors to ‘Jingle Mingle’ with them. The station was decorated with Christmas lights, and live music from the Steadfast Brass Band made sure the event was heard loud and clear!

After Christmas shopping in Dun Laoghaire’s RNLI shop, customers were invited down to the waterfront to have a hot chocolate and gingerbread person courtesy of Dun Laoghaire RNLI to say thank you for supporting the charity that saves lives at sea this Christmas. Not one to miss out on the Christmas goodies, Santa traded his sleigh for the Anna Livia, Dun Laoghaire’s all-weather Trent-class lifeboat, and greeted everyone into the station.

After Christmas shopping in Dun Laoghaire’s RNLI shop, customers were invited down to the waterfront to have a hot chocolate and gingerbread person courtesy of Dun Laoghaire RNLIAfter Christmas shopping in Dun Laoghaire’s RNLI shop, customers were invited down to the waterfront to have a hot chocolate and gingerbread person courtesy of Dun Laoghaire RNLI

The shop made four special Christmas hampers and anyone who bought something from the shop was entered into the lucky draw. The retail hamper is particularly special to the Dun Laoghaire RNLI because it harks back to a tradition between the volunteer lifeboat crew and the Kish lighthouse keepers from over 30 years ago.

Eamon O’Leary, Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s Deputy Launching Authority, remembers:

‘Before Kish Lighthouse went automatic in 1992, we decided that we would deliver the lighthouse keepers a hamper to share some of our Christmas cheer. The last time we set off into Dublin Bay, with Santa on crew, was in December 1991 on our former Waveney-class lifeboat the Lady of Lancashire. We’re delighted to see the festive spirit continue 30 years on through our shop!'

The RNLI’s shops are one way to support the charity this Christmas. Pauline McGann, RNLI Community Manager for Leinster, says:

‘The RNLI shop in Dun Laoghaire is a vital part of the coastal community because it gives us a space to raise funds for the lifeboat in an area where the RNLI has a deep and significant history in the local culture.

Just like the volunteers who have been going out to sea on the Dun Laoghaire lifeboat for 180 years, our shop volunteers are committed to saving lives at sea. They provide exemplar customer service with their extensive knowledge of the RNLI and the products we provide. From our popular charity Christmas cards to hats and clothing to jigsaws and games – we have a huge selection for the family!’

Barbara Taylor, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Shop Manager, thanks everyone who came down to support the event:

‘We are so thankful for everyone who came down to visit this weekend; in the shop we pride ourselves on our engaging interactions with our customers - we get so much from working with the public, and it means a lot to do something that we know is so meaningful for our amazing lifeboat crew.

Christmas is a special time for us here in Dun Laoghaire, and we were pleased to invite the community to come down to the Lifeboat Station to ‘Jingle Mingle’ with our volunteers! This is an event that we look forward to doing again next year.’

Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s shop is in the station on 2 Queens Road next to the East Pier. The shop opening times are: 

  • Monday 1 pm – 5 pm 
  • Tuesday 10 am – 5 pm  
  • Wednesday 10 am – 5 pm 
  • Thursday 10 am – 5 pm 
  • Friday 10 am – 5 pm  
  • Saturday 1 pm – 5 pm 
  • Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm 
Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Being a competitive sailor, I love to compete and especially love a win here and there! And so when I heard that our town had won the best town award from the Academy of Urbanism, I was delighted. We all know the amount of work that has been going on in the town, along the waterfront and everywhere in between to make Dún Laoghaire a great place to live, work and play. (See below for details on the award and judges' report)

As the current chairman of the Dún Laoghaire Business Association (DLBA) I am immensely proud of our town and of the award. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my fellow retailers who collectively bring a wonderful retail mix to the town and to everyone who lives, works and shops in Dún Laoghaire. Without you all, we would have no town, no waterfront, and little impetus to make our town thrive.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour - The Coastal Mobility Cycle Route and Village Public Realm project, connecting urban villages, bathing places, walks and parks along the coast, played a big part in the selection process Photo: Peter Barrow/Simon CoateDun Laoghaire Harbour - The Coastal Mobility Cycle Route and Village Public Realm project, connecting urban villages, bathing places, walks and parks along the coast, played a big part in the selection process Photo: Peter Barrow/Simon Coate

The Christmas lights are on and give a great festive feel to the town. Can I encourage you all to shop local and, when shopping online, to look for the .ie sites, so shopping local and reducing those air miles? 
And the government this year have increased the amount that companies can annually gift their staff up to €1000 in Gift Vouchers. Good news for everyone. No better way to gift your team members/employees than a gift voucher from their favourite shop. And if that just so happens to be Viking Marine get your Voucher right here.

Dún Laoghaire DLRCC Cathaoirleach Mary Hanafin receives the winning town awardDún Laoghaire DLRCC Cathaoirleach Mary Hanafin receives the winning town award

The Coastal Mobility Cycle Route and Village Public Realm project, connecting urban villages, bathing places, walks and parks along the coast, played a big part in the selection process

The judges were particularly impressed with the energy in the town, the joint leadership from all key stakeholders, the inclusive nature of voluntary and business groups and the willingness to incorporate active travel, landmark buildings like the Lexicon and our natural environment into a vibrant town. The Coastal Mobility Cycle Route and Village public realm project, connecting urban villages, bathing places, walks and parks along the coast, played a big part in the selection process and in our town winning the award.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council also received a framed copy of a ‘great place’ poem that captures the essence of Dún Laoghaire, written and read by the Academy’s Poet-in-Residence Ian McMillanDun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council also received a framed copy of a ‘great place’ poem that captures the essence of Dún Laoghaire, written and read by the Academy’s Poet-in-Residence Ian McMillan

The Judges Report detailing why Dún Laoghaire won the Urbanism award makes for interesting reading.

Dun Laoghaire at night as seen from the town's East Pier lighthouseDun Laoghaire at night as seen from the town's East Pier lighthouse

Published in Viking Marine

The RNLI volunteer crew at Dun Laoghaire Harbour will feature in the new series of popular BBC Two programme Saving Lives at Sea this Thursday, October 27.

Featuring footage captured on helmet cameras, the primetime documentary series lets viewers witness rescues through the eyes of the RNLI lifesavers while meeting the people behind the pagers.

The popular 10-part documentary is now in its seventh series and includes the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews from around Ireland and the UK.

Including interviews with lifeboat crews, the series will also hear from the rescuees and their families who are here to tell the tale, thanks to the RNLI.

This forthcoming episode on BBC2 at 7pm* on Thursday, 27 October, includes Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s rescue in May 2018 when the volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat on back-to-back call outs, the second of which was to assist a hen party on a motor boat that became fouled on pots.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI crew member Gary Hayes who will feature in the upcoming episode, says: ‘We are delighted to see this rescue featuring on this year’s series of Saving Lives at Sea. Our lifesaving work would not be possible without donations from the public and we are delighted to be able to share a frontline view of the rescues they support with their kind generosity.’

In 2021, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 1,078 times, coming to the aid of 1,485 people, 21 of whom were lives saved. Dun Laoghaire RNLI launched their all-weather and inshore lifeboat 78 times, bringing 78 people to safety.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The winter lift-out of sailing cruisers was completed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Saturday, October 15th

Approximately sixty yachts and cruisers were hauled out of the water in perfect weather conditions as the 2022 summer season ended at Ireland's biggest boating centre.

The National Yacht Club and neighbouring Royal St. George YC lifted out approximately 30 cruisers apiece using a mobile crane on their decks.

The boats will overwinter on the hardstanding at the waterfront clubhouses, where space is at a premium.

It's not the end of all sailing by any means, however. The winter DBSC Turkey Shoot Series, which attracts up to 70 boats, mainly from the town marina, is scheduled to start on Nov 6th, and the DMYC Dinghy Frostbite Series will run in harbour racing until March already has 75 entries for its November 6th first race.

The removal of Dublin Bay Sailing Club's (DBSC) West Pier Starting Hut, in place for summer yacht racing, had to be aborted early this morning due to exceptionally high and gusting winds on the Dun Laoghaire Pier site.

The club will try the operation again next week, although high winds are forecasted as well.

The hut is wintered each year on Traders Wharf in the Coal Harbour area, with the kind permission of MGM Boats.

DBSC, under the supervision of Chris Moore, makes arrangements to paint and attend to necessary repairs during the winter lay-up.

The next event for the country's biggest yacht racing organisation is its popular winter AIB sponsored Turkey Shoot Series that will be hosted this year by the Royal Irish Yacht Club from November 6th. More on the 22nd here.

Published in DBSC

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has wasted no time in getting on with its work to improve Dun Laoghaire Harbour with the demolition of the old Ice Plant on the Coal Quay.

In April, the Council was one of 13 coastal local authorities to be approved for funding under a Government Brexit scheme.

One of the grants awarded was €125,000 for the Ice Plant demolition, and six months later, this work commenced. 

The 'Ice House', as it is known locally, was built in 1972 to provide ice for the fishing fleet but has not been operational in the past 30 years.

More recently, the redundant building had been used for fish sales but has not operated as such for the past five years. 

Coming down - the 'Ice House' at the Coal Quay is being removed at Dun Laoghaire HarbourComing down - the 'Ice House' at the Coal Quay is being removed at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Afloat

In February, as part of a master plan to improve connections between Dun Laoghaire town centre and its harbour, the wall that long blocked the sea view from Marine Road was demolished

Removal of the sea wall at St. Michael’s plaza (previously Victoria Wharf) to the right of the Royal St. George Yacht Club has opened up a bright new vista for the town.

It is one of several efforts by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County council to improve the physical connection between the town centre and its waterfront.

€1,348M of the Brexit funding obtained will be used for Berth Fenders and related matters, and €1,744M will be for East Pier Revetment repairs.

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Afloat.ie recently highlighted some of the significant changes at Dun Laoghaire Harbour under the stewardship of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

One of those that’s been arguably less heralded is the introduction last year of a new safety patrol boat service in the harbour, which has contributed to it becoming a safer place for the pandemic-era influx of kayakers and paddleboarders alongside the regular boaters.

The safety service was recently the focus of a segment on RTÉ Radio 1’s Today with Claire Byrne, with correspondent Evelyn O’Rourke visiting the harbour to learn more about the vital service, the crucial importance of water safety and how it fits into the harbour’s overall ambitions.

Operations manager Tim Ryan tells O’Rourke that the harbour wants to actively invite leisure users to feel welcome and safe there, and that the team is encouraging people to use its waters.

The full segment can be heard on the RTÉ Radio 1 website HERE.

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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 sealift, 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.

The Irish Naval Service 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

Irish Navy FAQs

The Naval Service is the Irish State's principal seagoing agency with "a general responsibility to meet contingent and actual maritime defence requirements". It is tasked with a variety of defence and other roles.

The Naval Service is based in Ringaskiddy, Cork harbour, with headquarters in the Defence Forces headquarters in Dublin.

The Naval Service provides the maritime component of the Irish State's defence capabilities and is the State's principal seagoing agency. It "protects Ireland's interests at and from the sea, including lines of communication, fisheries and offshore resources" within the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps as part of the Irish defence forces.

The Naval Service was established in 1946, replacing the Marine and Coastwatching Service set up in 1939. It had replaced the Coastal and Marine Service, the State's first marine service after independence, which was disbanded after a year. Its only ship was the Muirchú, formerly the British armed steam yacht Helga, which had been used by the Royal Navy to shell Dublin during the 1916 Rising. In 1938, Britain handed over the three "treaty" ports of Cork harbour, Bere haven and Lough Swilly.

The Naval Service has nine ships - 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.

The ships' names are prefaced with the title of Irish ship or "long Éireannach" (LE). The older ships bear Irish female names - LÉ Eithne, LÉ Orla, LÉ Ciara, LÉ Roisín, and LÉ Niamh. The newer ships, named after male Irish literary figures, are LÉ Samuel Beckett, LÉ James Joyce, LÉ William Butler Yeats and LÉ George Bernard Shaw.

Yes. The 76mm Oto Melara medium calibre naval armament is the most powerful weapon in the Naval Services arsenal. The 76mm is "capable of engaging naval targets at a range of up to 17km with a high level of precision, ensuring that the Naval Service can maintain a range advantage over all close-range naval armaments and man-portable weapon systems", according to the Defence Forces.

The Fleet Operational Readiness Standards and Training (FORST) unit is responsible for the coordination of the fleet needs. Ships are maintained at the Mechanical Engineering and Naval Dockyard Unit at Ringaskiddy, Cork harbour.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

The Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service (FOCNS) is Commodore Michael Malone. The head of the Defence Forces is a former Naval Service flag officer, now Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett – appointed in 2015 and the first Naval Service flag officer to hold this senior position. The Flag Officer oversees Naval Operations Command, which is tasked with the conduct of all operations afloat and ashore by the Naval Service including the operations of Naval Service ships. The Naval Operations Command is split into different sections, including Operations HQ and Intelligence and Fishery Section.

The Intelligence and Fishery Section is responsible for Naval Intelligence, the Specialist Navigation centre, the Fishery Protection supervisory and information centre, and the Naval Computer Centre. The Naval Intelligence Cell is responsible for the collection, collation and dissemination of naval intelligence. The Navigation Cell is the naval centre for navigational expertise.

The Fishery Monitoring Centre provides for fishery data collection, collation, analysis and dissemination to the Naval Service and client agencies, including the State's Sea Fisheries Protection Agency. The centre also supervises fishery efforts in the Irish EEZ and provides data for the enhanced effectiveness of fishery protection operations, as part of the EU Common Fisheries Policy. The Naval Computer Centre provides information technology (IT) support service to the Naval Service ashore and afloat.

This headquarters includes specific responsibility for the Executive/Operations Branch duties. The Naval Service Operations Room is a coordination centre for all NS current Operations. The Naval Service Reserve Staff Officer is responsible for the supervision, regulation and training of the reserve. The Diving section is responsible for all aspects of Naval diving and the provision of a diving service to the Naval Service and client agencies. The Ops Security Section is responsible for the coordination of base security and the coordination of all shore-based security parties operating away from the Naval base. The Naval Base Comcen is responsible for the running of a communications service. Boat transport is under the control of Harbour Master Naval Base, who is responsible for the supervision of berthage at the Naval Base and the provision of a boat service, including the civilian manned ferry service from Haulbowline.

Naval Service ships have undertaken trade and supply missions abroad, and personnel have served as peacekeepers with the United Nations. In 2015, Naval Service ships were sent on rotation to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean as part of a bi-lateral arrangement with Italy, known as Operation Pontus. Naval Service and Army medical staff rescued some 18,000 migrants, either pulling people from the sea or taking them off small boats, which were often close to capsizing having been towed into open water and abandoned by smugglers. Irish ships then became deployed as part of EU operations in the Mediterranean, but this ended in March 2019 amid rising anti-immigrant sentiment in the EU.

Essentially, you have to be Irish, young (less than 32), in good physical and mental health and with normal vision. You must be above 5'2″, and your weight should be in keeping with your age.

Yes, women have been recruited since 1995. One of the first two female cadets, Roberta O'Brien from the Glen of Aherlow in Co Tipperary, became its first female commander in September 2020. Sub Lieutenant Tahlia Britton from Donegal also became the first female diver in the navy's history in the summer of 2020.

A naval cadet enlists for a cadetship to become an officer in the Defence Forces. After successfully completing training at the Naval Service College, a cadet is commissioned into the officer ranks of the Naval Service as a Ensign or Sub Lieutenant.

A cadet trains for approximately two years duration divided into different stages. The first year is spent in military training at the Naval Base in Haulbowline, Cork. The second-year follows a course set by the National Maritime College of Ireland course. At the end of the second year and on completion of exams, and a sea term, the cadets will be qualified for the award of a commission in the Permanent Defence Force as Ensign.

The Defence Forces say it is looking for people who have "the ability to plan, prioritise and organise", to "carefully analyse problems, in order to generate appropriate solutions, who have "clear, concise and effective communication skills", and the ability to "motivate others and work with a team". More information is on the 2020 Qualifications Information Leaflet.

When you are 18 years of age or over and under 26 years of age on the date mentioned in the notice for the current competition, the officer cadet competition is held annually and is the only way for potential candidates to join the Defence Forces to become a Naval Service officer. Candidates undergo psychometric and fitness testing, an interview and a medical exam.
The NMCI was built beside the Naval Service base at Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, and was the first third-level college in Ireland to be built under the Government's Public-Private Partnership scheme. The public partners are the Naval Service and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the private partner is Focus Education.
A Naval Service recruit enlists for general service in the "Other Ranks" of the Defence Forces. After successfully completing the initial recruit training course, a recruit passes out as an Ordinary Seaman and will then go onto their branch training course before becoming qualified as an Able Body sailor in the Naval Service.
No formal education qualifications are required to join the Defence Forces as a recruit. You need to satisfy the interview board and the recruiting officer that you possess a sufficient standard of education for service in the Defence Forces.
Recruit training is 18 weeks in duration and is designed to "develop a physically fit, disciplined and motivated person using basic military and naval skills" to "prepare them for further training in the service. Recruits are instilled with the Naval Service ethos and the values of "courage, respect, integrity and loyalty".
On the progression up through the various ranks, an Able Rate will have to complete a number of career courses to provide them with training to develop their skills in a number of areas, such as leadership and management, administration and naval/military skills. The first of these courses is the Naval Service Potential NCO course, followed by the Naval Service Standard NCO course and the Naval Service senior NCO course. This course qualifies successful candidates of Petty officer (or Senior Petty Officer) rank to fill the rank of Chief Petty Officer upwards. The successful candidate may also complete and graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership, Management and Naval Studies in partnership with Cork Institute of Technology.
Pay has long been an issue for just the Naval Service, at just over 1,000 personnel. Cadets and recruits are required to join the single public service pension scheme, which is a defined benefit scheme, based on career-average earnings. For current rates of pay, see the Department of Defence website.

 

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