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Displaying items by tag: Galway Harbour

An investigation into the death of a Galway fisherman who became entangled in gear off Salthill last year has found the weather deteriorated “significantly” after the vessel which he fished with his father left the harbour.

Tom Oliver (37), a relative of the Olivers who rescued two paddleboarders in Galway Bay in August 2020, died after he was dragged over the stern of the six-metre fishing vessel Myia on November 2nd 2020.

His father Martin, who was almost 62, was found dead at home the following morning.

After the incident, the then Mayor of Galway Mike Cubbard paid tribute to the two men as “salt of the earth” and “the best of friends”.

Cubbard noted that it was only a few weeks since he had recognised the role of their relatives, Patrick and Morgan Oliver, in rescuing paddleboarders Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn after 15 hours at sea.

Several generations of the Oliver family have been associated with the RNLI lifeboat service, and members of the RNLI and the fishing communities along the coast and on the Aran Islands were among hundreds who attended the funeral of the father and son.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) report into the incident said that “violent movements” generated by the worsening sea conditions while feeding out shrimp pots may have been a contributory factor.

The use of a mobile phone to generate a distress call, instead of a Mayday call over VHF radio, “added some delay, however short, in the alert of the emergency services”, the report found.

The report said a Mayday call over VHF radio would have been picked up immediately by Valentia Coast Guard, leading to immediate activation of the lifeboat crew pagers.

It said that activation of a personal locator beacon, which can be fitted to a PFD or lifejacket, would also have triggered an instant distress call.

It said the casualty was not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket while operating on an open deck in hazardous conditions.

“Wearing a suitably specified and fitted PFD would have greatly improved his chances of survival,” the report stated.

The report noted that the crew were very experienced at potting in the Galway Bay area, and had been working on the twin-hulled vessel FV Myia for ten years, fishing lobster in summer and shrimp during the winter.

The report said that the weather “deteriorated considerably between the time the vessel left the harbour at midday on November 2nd, 2020, and the time of the incident.

“As seen in the Met Éireann weather report at the time of the incident there were near gale force winds, heavy rainfall, and rough seas,” it said.

“ These conditions were extremely challenging for a vessel of this size and construction and would have led to violent movements,” it said.

It noted that there are no manufacturers recommendations on the operational limitations of this type of vessel, and the manufacturing company is no longer in existence.

The report recalled that at approximately 1.30 pm, the men were resetting a train of pots when Tom Oliver got entangled in rope attached to the train of pots.

“ The weight of the train of pots combined with the forward motion of the vessel quickly pulled him overboard and under the water,” it said.

The Galway RNLI lifeboat operations manager was contacted by mobile phone, and he requested activation of pagers for an immediate launch of the inshore lifeboat.

It arrived quickly on the scene, and the lifeboat crew found the casualty caught in ropes and unconscious in the water.

The lifeboat crew got the casualty on board and immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It requested an ambulance, which met it at the lifeboat station.

Tom Oliver was brought to Galway University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The lifeboat then launched again to escort the fishing vessel Myia back to the harbour.

The MCIB recommends that the Minister for Transport should issue marine notices reminding fishing crew of the obligation to wear a PFD while working on open decks, and of the dangers associated with snagging in gear while setting trains of pots.

It also recommends that the minister issue marine notices to encourage use of VHF radio for distress calls, to point out the limitations of mobile phones for this purpose, and to advise fishers to know the limitations of vessels and to be aware always of weather forecasts before going to sea.

Published in MCIB

There’s rarely a weekend when there isn’t some activity in and around Galway’s Claddagh basin. Earlier last month, the Galway Hooker Sailing Club and Port of Galway Sea Scouts launched the 96-year old gleoiteog, Loveen, which was refurbished during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Late last month, Badóirí an Chladaigh flew a Brazilian flag from bad mór Naomh Cronán in tribute to Paulo Sergio Soares de Paixo, one of their volunteers who died at the age of 52 after taking ill far from home.

One man who knows everything there is to know about the Claddagh is Tommy Holohan. On a recent low tide walk out from Nimmo’s pier, he took Wavelengths to see the remains of a ship named the Nordlyset, a 1,600 ton steel barque carrying a cargo of deal in November 1914 which was wrecked off Mutton island.

Tommy Holohan (front) and Ger Jackson, examining the remains of the Nordlyset , a 1600 ton steel barque carrying a cargo of deal in November 1914 which was wrecked off Mutton island. Both Tommy and Ger believe the anchor, buried somewhere deep in the sand off Galway's Swamp, should be retrieved as part of the city's maritime history.(Above and below) Tommy Holohan (front) and Ger Jackson, examining the remains of the Nordlyset , a 1600 ton steel barque carrying a cargo of deal in November 1914 which was wrecked off Mutton island. Both Tommy and Ger believe the anchor, buried somewhere deep in the sand off Galway's Swamp, should be retrieved as part of the city's maritime history. Photos Joe O'Shaughnessy

Tommy Holohan and Ger Jackson, examining the remains of the Nordlyset , a 1600 ton steel barque carrying a cargo of deal in November 1914 which was wrecked off Mutton island. Both Tommy and Ger believe the anchor, buried somewhere deep in the sand off Galway's Swamp, should be retrieved as part of the city's maritime history.

Holohan and his friend Ger Jackson believe the anchor is buried somewhere nearby deep in the sand, and that it should be retrieved as part of Galway’s maritime history. There’s also a James Joyce connection to shipwrecks and Galway pilots, as Tommy explained to Wavelengths below

Photo Gallery of The Shipwreck of the Nordlyset By Joe O'Shaughnessy  

Published in Wavelength Podcast
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When Brazilian Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão became involved with traditional boats in Galway, little did he expect that his ashes would be scattered by fellow crew members at sea.

Musicians and members of Galway group Badoirí an Chladaigh took to the wateron Sunday to bid farewell to their Brazilian colleague after he died last week at the age of 52.

Known in Galway as “Paolo Sergio”, the dancer and choreographer came to Ireland to study gastronomy.

He signed up as a volunteer with Badóirí an Chladaigh, and “everyone he touched just loved him”, according to Peter Connolly of the Galway hooker restoration group.

Brazilian choreographer Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão whose ashes were scattered by Badoirí an Chladaigh in Galway Bay1.jpgBrazilian choreographer Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão whose ashes were scattered by Badoirí an Chladaigh in Galway Bay1.jpg

“Paulo was very involved in our outdoor classes for schools, and there was nothing that he couldn’t do,” Connolly said.

When he became ill, he spent a number of months in University Hospital Galway and had two operations in Beaumont hospital in Dublin.

After his cremation last week, arrangements were made to scatter his ashes off Galway’s Mutton island.

The half decker Réalt Feasa and fishing boat Aisling Geal took advantage of a brief weather window on Sunday morning (Oct 31) to steam out to the island.

Paulo’s sister Mariza Soares da Paixao Milo and his cousin, Sergio Severiano Gomes Oliveira, were on board as the wind caught his ashes, a wreath was laid, and prayers were said in his memory.

A group of musicians then played a number of pieces on board the hooker Naomh Cronán, which was moored in full sail in the Claddagh basin and flying a Brazilian flag from its mast.

Relatives and friends of Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão from left, his sister Maria Soares da Paixao Milo, Esther Niland, Sergio Gomes Oliveira and David Doyle.jpgRelatives and friends of Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão from left, his sister Maria Soares da Paixao Milo, Esther Niland, Sergio Gomes Oliveira and David Doyle

Mayor of Galway Colette Connolly paid her respects to the family.

Clearly moved by the tribute, Sergio called how his cousin was born in Salvador and how he had studied choreography.

He became a professor of dance at the University of Para in Belem, where he was based for 25 years, and directed works that were staged in theatres in Belem.

“Paulo spent at the University of Para, very far from his home in Salvador, he had a house and car, he returned home to see family and friends, but over time he wanted a little more, something different,”Sergio said.

“He wanted to know the world, and people in a different way, he wanted a reality different from the reality of being Brazilian,” Sergio said.

“He planned to move from Brazil and discover something new...so he came to Ireland to change his way of life and study gastronomy here,”he said.

“Paulo first stayed in Dublin and then decided to move to Galway as it is a small city and a pretty city that gave him more opportunities, and he met many people of many different origins,”Sergio said.

“ He captivated people around him, and he was made welcome here,”he said.

Esther Niland, who offered Paulo lodgings in the West, along with David Doyle and Danny Bailey of Badóirí an Chladaigh said this was “what he would have wanted”.

“I was an immigrant for 20 years myself, many of us have been there, and we felt it was so sad that Paolo died so far from his home,”Peter Connolly added.

“He was a pure gentle giant,” Doyle said.

Published in Galway Harbour

Where else in the world would you hear yourself being addressed as Loveen but in Galway - and that's the name of a 96-year-old gleoiteog which is being blessed today (Oct 16) in the Claddagh Basin.

The historic vessel which was built by the Reaneys of Galway’s Spanish Arch was bought from the late Nicky Dolan in 2011 with the support of the former mayor and Labour councillor Niall MacNelis.

It was presented to the Port of Galway Sea Scouts, to help continue the culture and tradition of hooker sailing into the next generation

It has been restored, plank by plank, by expert boatbuilders Coilín Hernon, Ciarán Oliver and a large team from the Galway Hooker Sailing Association (GHSA).

The association, which has over 100 volunteers, began the project in 2019 and continued with careful restrictions through last year’s Covid-19 pandemic.

The Lovely Anne, a late 19th-century gleoiteog, already restored by the GHSA, will join a flotilla today to welcome the Loveen on to the water.

The Port of Galway Sea Scouts and the GHSA are hosting this afternoon’s celebration at Nimmo’s Pier on the Claddagh basin from 2 pm to 4 pm.

Free ticket admission can be obtained on this link here

Published in Historic Boats

Galway RNLI towed a 20-foot half-decker that got into difficulty off Barna to safety last evening.

The pleasure/fishing vessel experienced mechanical issues after it left Galway docks and started drifting.

The crew contacted the Irish Coastguard which then tasked the Galway lifeboat shortly before 7 pm.

Galway Lifeboat volunteer crew Brian Niland (Helmsman), Martin Oliver, Lisa McDonagh and James Rattigan located the vessel with three crew on board.

RNLI deputy launch authority Seán Óg Leydon said that the crew "thankfully had the means to contact the Coastguard directly " for help before the situation escalated.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Galway's 96-year old gleoiteog Loveen has marked a key stage in its restoration with the nailing of its "whiskey plank".

At a "low key" ceremony, the final plank was secured and the occasion was marked with a "modest" round of whiskey.

The Loveen had been bought by Nicky Dolan shortly before his passing in 2011.

Frankie Dolan, Station Officer with Galway Fire and Rescue Service, Frankie is a cousin of the late Nicky Dolan who was the last owner of The LoveenFrankie Dolan, Station Officer with Galway Fire and Rescue Service, Frankie is a cousin of the late Nicky Dolan who was the last owner of The Loveen Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

It was presented to the Port of Galway Sea Scouts the following year.

Daniel Concannon of Port of Galway Sea Scouts inspects the Loveen. Galway Hooker Sailing Club are restoring the Loveen on behalf of the Sea Scouts.Daniel Concannon of Port of Galway Sea Scouts inspects the Loveen. Galway Hooker Sailing Club are restoring the Loveen on behalf of the Sea Scouts Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

A restoration project began in 2019, which was spearheaded by Galway Hooker Sailing Club with the enthusiastic support of the sea scouts.

Coilin Hernon with his sons Einde and Coilin Og at the Loveen at Galway Harbour. The Hernon family are boatbuilders and key members of keeping the tradition of Galway Hookers alive Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy Coilin Hernon with his sons Einde and Coilin Og at the Loveen at Galway Harbour. The Hernon family are boatbuilders and key members of keeping the tradition of Galway Hookers alive Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Founder members of the club are the Oliver family of the Claddagh, and their aim is to continue to support the tradition of Galway hooker sailing, and the culture around it, into the next generation.

A poster details of the Loveen projectA poster details of the Loveen project Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Ross Forde, Club Director, gives a helping hand to his son Jamie at hammering in a nail on the LoveenRoss Forde, Club Director, gives a helping hand to his son Jamie at hammering in a nail on the Loveen Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Daniel Concannon of Port of Galway Sea Scouts hammers in a nail on the LoveenDaniel Concannon of Port of Galway Sea Scouts hammers in a nail on the Loveen Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

 Tina Concannon, Club Secretary, hammers home a nail on the Loveen Tina Concannon, Club Secretary, hammers home a nail on the Loveen Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Published in Galway Harbour
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Galway Bay Sailing Club's Yannick Lemonnier has launched his Mini Transat yacht 'Marcel forever' at Galway Docks.

The Galway sailmaker is embarking on the first part of his Mini campaign that features a 600-mile race from Douarnenez in Western France. It's a campaign that will ultimately see Lemonnier (50) compete in the Mini Transatlantic Race this September. 

Johnny Shorten, Commodore of Galway Bay Sailing Club presented the GBSC Logo to the solo sailor ahead of his departure.

Lemonnier, who runs the Quantum Sails loft in Galway City, recently told Afloat recently that when he got into top-level competitive sailing on his native waters in the Bay of Biscay at the age of 26, his foremost ambition was to race the Mini Transat 6.5 across the Atlantic. Read more on this here

The Mini Transat yacht 'Marcel forever'The Mini Transat yacht 'Marcel forever'

Published in Galway Harbour
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Port of Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan has said Galway could become a stage for the America's Cup yacht race in the future.

The harbourmaster was commenting as the port outlined its vision for a new “urban quarter” with a dedicated cultural space, a “repurposed” inner basin and high rise waterfront residential development.

The “vision” unveiled by the port yesterday, involves development of some seven hectares (17 acres) of inner docklands for housing, commercial and recreational use.

The new vision for Galway Port sees high rise waterfront residential developmentThe new vision for Galway Port sees high rise waterfront residential development

A substantial portion depends on Galway securing approval for its long-planned harbour extension.

However, some 33 per cent of the area could be developed for residential use in advance of port relocation, its chief executive Conor O’Dowd said.

Around 2,000 residents in total could be accommodated in Galway’s inner dockland, O’Dowd said.

Most of the buildings proposed in the “vision” would be approximately six storeys high, but this would be the subject of public consultation, he said.

Galway Harbour Development an aerial viewGalway Harbour Development an aerial view

The Galway dockland centre pier has been earmarked for a cultural facility, and the port is “very open” to public proposals on this, O’Dowd said.

Some 22,300 sq metres (5.5 acres) would be earmarked to develop new public spaces for the city and repurpose the inner dock basin for marine recreation, he said.

Proposed public amenities include the development of “cross-city walking and cycle routes, multi-purpose cultural and event spaces, recreational water sport facilities and a completely re-imagined” street network that turns “towards the sea”, he said.

Capt Sheridan said that the port had hosted Ireland’s first Volvo Ocean Race stopover in 2009 and the finish of the race in 2012.

It has also hosted three national sea festivals in Galway, and is on the route for the Round Britain and Ireland race in May, 2022.

“I think we are well capable of hosting the America's Cup down the road,” he said.

Known as the oldest international contest still held in any sport, the America's Cup involves matches races between the yacht club that currently holds the trophy and a club that is a challenger.

Any club that meets the specific requirements of the contest – held for over a century on the US east coast before it moved to Fremantle, Australia in 1987 and subsequent venues – has the right to challenge the yacht club that currently holds the cup.

The America's Cup is currently held by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, which was successful in defending its title in Auckland in March 2021.

“These modern super yachts require very little water depth, and Galway bay is a natural amphitheatre for such events,” Capt Sheridan said.

“We dreamed about a port expansion many years ago, and we are now tantalisingly close,”he said.

“ When the Volvo ocean races called here in 2009 and 2012, we were the smallest port in the world on their route – and yet in 2009, Galway was deemed the most successful stopover in its 39-year history,” he said.

O’Dowd said the port’s planning application for a new, deep water port - which was the subject of a Bord Pleanála hearing in 2015 -is at an “advanced stage”.

The plan involves reclaiming some 24 hectares in the inner bay, and the port says a significant “hurdle” was overcome with recent approval of its proposal to provide compensatory land for lost habitats.

The port applied for a rarely used derogation of the EU Habitats Directive –the ‘Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest’ (IROPI) clause – and this has now been approved by the EU and referred to the Minister for Housing and Local Government.

If approved, the port company forecasts a completion date for the deepwater extension of 2032.

Published in Galway Harbour
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The Port of Galway has secured consent to provide compensatory habitat in return for its proposed harbour extension.

An Bord Pleanala has confirmed that the development qualifies to be considered under a derogation of the EU Habitats Directive, which allows projects to be built for "Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest". (IROPI).

The port, which is restricted by tide, applied in 2014 for a €126m expansion.

This would involve the reclamation of 24 hectares from the sea bed and extensive development of deepwater berth space.

Bord Pleanála said that certain elements of the proposed development would have a significant adverse impact on Galway bay, with permanent loss of reef, mud and sand habitats in a candidate special area of conservation.

In its submission, the port has offered compensatory habitat which it would restore.

An Bord Pleanála says it approved the IROPI case for several reasons:

It says it “concluded that the proposal presents an integrated development that enhances the social, economic and recreational benefits of the port for the wider benefit of the population of Galway and its regional hinterland”.

“The enhancement of port facilities also aligns with the European transportation policy promoting ‘short-sea shipping’ as a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable alternative to road transport,” it says.

“The enhancement of the port serving the region will therefore align with European, national and regional policies in favour of balanced spatial and economic development,” it says.

“The port and the tradition of maritime trade is fundamental not just to the economy of Galway but also to its culture and identity,” it says.

“The social and economic benefits of the project include positive impacts to tourism, marine research and development, including offshore renewable energy, urban regeneration and marine leisure opportunities,” it says.

Port of Galway chief executive officer Conor O’Dowd welcomed the confirmation as a “positive further step in the planning process”.

An Bord Pleanála says it has asked the Minister of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to “consider the adequacy of the compensatory measures proposed by the applicant”.

It has also asked the minister to “advise as to whether there are imperative reasons of overriding public interest to enable consideration of the proposed development to proceed”.

Published in Galway Harbour

No fire brigade, no doctors, no ambulance service – when a problem arises at sea, seafarers have to tackle it themselves.

That’s what makes the seafarer a “special breed” who is always “solution-focused”, according to Port of Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan.

The challenges of Covid-19, Galway’s position as a hub for renewable ocean energy, and its plans for expansion are among issues that Capt Sheridan spoke to Wavelengths about this week as part of the podcast’s occasional series on ports around the coast.

Galway secured a first Irish stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race, in 2009, and its finale in 2012. There were also three national “seafests” in the harbour, organised by the Marine Institute.

In May 2022, Galway will host a stopover for the Round Britain and Ireland Yacht Race, when some 40 competing yachts are anticipated to berth over a four day period.

“It gives a little bit of a parting in the clouds...when things are so dark,” Capt Sheridan says.

There’s also “a poet in everybody”, he adds, and Storm Ophelia in 2017 inspired one such piece which he wrote, and which he read for the podcast.

Listen below

Published in Wavelength Podcast
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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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