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Displaying items by tag: Howth

Two people — one with an injured ankle — were rescued by the Irish Coast Guard after getting stuck on a cliff near the Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head yesterday afternoon (Sunday 11 October).

Howth Coast Guard’s cliff team reached the scene just as the Dublin-based helicopter Rescue 116 arrived, and it was decided the helicopter crew would recover the casualties to the cliff top.

The winchman was lowered with a double hoist lift both casualties, which TheJournal.ie reports were an adult and a teenager, to the top and into the care of the cliff team.

The younger of the pair had sustained an ankle injury that was not thought to be serious, but as a precaution they were stretched to the nearest road to meet an ambulance crew fro transfer to hospital.

“This was a lucky escape for the two casualties,” said a coastguard spokesperson.

“Due to the quick response by the public in calling 999 and giving an accurate location of the incident, rescue teams were able to quickly deploy.”

Published in Coastguard
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"Getting the builders in" is a challenging prospect on land at the best of times. Add in the sea, and it's then a challenge-plus. Thus when you're working on and in the waterfront to implement a project within a busy fishing/sailing harbour which has found itself becoming something of a cult tourism magnet, the problems are magnified tenfold for contractors and harbour users alike.

Certainly, this is the prospect at Howth, where this week Sisk the Builders will be starting to move in to set up a new operational site on the Middle Pier. This will – in just 13 months, it is hoped - provide a completely new 135 metres of proper quay wall along the currently rock-armoured west side of the Middle Pier, with dredged material from the new "long berth" being deposited in a revetment-retained infill on the Middle Pier's East Side, thereby providing much-needed extra shore space for vehicles serving the boats using the new berths.

Part of Howth's attraction for visitors is the colourful but often very crowded scene along the main fishing boat area on the West Pier. It's entertaining to be feasting off seafood at one of the many characterful restaurants along the pier, as forklifts with fishing gear go buzzing closely past. And every so often, a seemingly enormous fishing boat makes her stately way across the quay in slow style on the Syncrolift trolleys to receive the attentions of Johnny Leonard and his skilled staff in the shipyard. There's never a dull moment. But there are times when it's all just too much of a good thing. A safety valve of alternative berthing and extra shoreside space was becoming urgently needed.

Howth's Fish Dock may provide a colourful setting for a quayside array of characterful seafood restaurants along the West PierHowth's Fish Dock may provide a colourful setting for a quayside array of characterful seafood restaurants along the West Pier, but extra berthing space is urgently needed. Photo: W M Nixon

Down along the west side of the Middle Pier was the only option. This would be simple enough if everyone was game to close off substantial parts of the harbour to let the contractors have a free run at the job. But it says everything about the spirit of Howth that this doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone. From the beginning, the assumption was that virtually all of the harbour's activities could continue with as little interruption as possible, and Harbour Master Harry McLoughlin and Howth Yacht Cub Commodore Ian Byrne, together with representatives of other interests, set themselves the task of facilitating the contractors while keeping the floating show on the road.

As Ian Byrne became our "Sailor of the Month" back in May for deciphering the multiple rules for exiting the first Covid lockdown in a way which was comprehensible to all sailors, he was ideal to speak for the consumers, while Harry McLoughlin - a widely-experienced harbour master who has a real vision for Howth - ably filled the role as the human face of officialdom. Between themselves and the contractors, they worked out a viable scheme despite having to include extra elements made necessary by the space requirements of COVID-19

Site plan showing (red line) the agreed limits of the boundary of the works. This will enable much of the harbour – including the public slipway beside the Lifeboat StationSite plan showing (red line) the agreed limits of the boundary of the works. This will enable much of the harbour – including the public slipway beside the Lifeboat Station – to continue to function, but inevitably there will be some reduction in car parking spaces.

Of course, those who know Howth well appreciate that while this new project will – if all goes according to plan - give the fishing fleet a very welcome and useful Christmas present at the end of 2021, it is just the beginning of a process in which the long-overdue dredging of the harbour – more needed in some parts then in others – is steadily moving up the agenda.

But if this scheme goes according to plan in a spirit of harmony, it will, in turn, create the atmosphere in which other mutually beneficial works can be undertaken with an attitude of realism and a mood of mutual respect. And if by some happy chance the pandemic subsides and visitors are allowed back to Howth in their previous numbers next Spring, well, the fact that there's an interesting bit of maritime contracting work underway will give them something extra to look at, for the main attraction of Howth Harbour seems to be that people on holiday enjoy nothing more than watching other people doing unusual work…

Howth_middle_pier_from_northBy the beginning of November (COVID permitting) this end section of Howth's Middle Pier will be a hive of activity with the rock armour on the Fish Dockside being converted into a quay wall.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Howth RNLI launched to the rescue of a solo sailor whose yacht got into difficulty in the Irish Sea off Dublin yesterday evening, Thursday 3 September.

Pagers sounded at 7.10pm and the all-weather lifeboat was launched, its crew locating the stricken yacht some five miles east of the Kish Lighthouse.

The vessel had suffered rigging and engine damage and was unable to make way so the lifeboat crew took it under tow to the safety of Poolbeg Marina, where it was tied up at 10.45pm.

Howth Lifeboat Rescues Lone Yachtsman Stranded In Irish Sea

Howth RNLI reported that the lone yachtsman was in good spirits despite his ordeal.

Speaking after the callout, lifeboat coxswain Fred Connolly said: “Our volunteer lifeboat crew are always ready to respond to a call for help and we train for situations just like this.

“We were delighted to able to quickly locate the sailing boat, commence the tow and bring the sailor safely back to Dublin Port.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Howth RNLI launched both the all-weather lifeboat and the inshore lifeboat in two separate callouts over the weekend to rescue eight people who found themselves in difficulty. One callout saw a teenager’s life saved when the lifeboat crew found him clinging to a buoy in the middle of the estuary.

The RNLI pagers sounded at 1.35 pm on Friday (7 August) after a call was placed to the Coast Guard reporting two people in difficulty swimming at Cush Point in Baldoyle estuary. The inshore lifeboat was launched and located the two people 11 minutes later as they made their way back to shore. Colin Murray from Howth Coast Guard spoke to the two boys and it emerged that there was a third person still missing. The lifeboat crew quickly established a search pattern and located the casualty clinging to a buoy in the middle of the estuary. He had been there for nearly 30 minutes and was exhausted. The casualty was taken aboard the lifeboat, assessed and treated before bringing back to the lifeboat station.

The lifeboat crew were called into action again the following afternoon (Saturday 8 August) at 4.50 pm to reports of a speed boat that had mechanical problems just north of Lambay Island. The all-weather lifeboat was launched and quickly located the boat with four family members onboard. The speedboat was taken in tow by the volunteer crew of the all-weather lifeboat and the family were unharmed by the incident and returned safely to Malahide Marina.

Speaking following the callout which saw the teenager rescued, Fin Goggin, Howth RNLI Helm said: ‘What we thought was a callout to two swimmers who had made their way back to shore quickly turned into a search for a missing teenager. When we found him a short time later clinging to the buoy, very tired but alive, we realised it could have had a very tragic outcome.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Howth RNLI launched both the all weather lifeboat and the inshore lifeboat in 5 separate call-outs over the bank holiday weekend to rescue 12 people who found themselves in difficulty

The RNLI pagers sounded at 6.38pm on Sunday 31st May after a call was placed to the Coast Guard reporting 4 people stranded by the tide on rocks in Balscadden bay Howth. The inshore lifeboat was launched and located the 4 people 8 minutes later. They had become cut off by the tide and were quickly assessed and found to be in good spirits despite being in the water for a period of time. They were transferred back to the safety of Howth harbour.

The RNLI pagers sounded again on Monday 1st June at 4.04pm to reports of a speed boat that had mechanical problems and drifted onto Sutton strand. The inshore lifeboat was launched and quickly located the boat with 3 family members onboard.

Speed boat towed to safety by Howth RNLI

The speedboat was taken in tow by the crew of the inshore lifeboat and the family were unharmed by the incident and returned safely to shore at Howth Lifeboat Station.

The RNLI pages again sounded just over an hour later at 5.50pm to reports of 5 people stranded by the tide in the centre of Baldoyle estuary. The coast guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also tasked to the scene and airlifted 1 of the party of 5 people while a local paddle boarder was assisting in returning 3 people to shore as the final person swam to shore. Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat assessed the casualties on the beach.

Five people were cut off by tide and rescued by Coastgaurd Helicopter at Howth


Rescue 116 landed on Portmarnock strand and passed the casualty to the RNLI inshore lifeboat who returned them safely to their friends.

The RNLI had launched earlier in the weekend on 2 further occasions to false alarms with good intent.

Speaking following the callout, Noel Davidson, Howth RNLI Volunteer Press Officer said: ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew are always ready to respond to a call for help and have launched 13 times in the last 20 days. Thankfully while some of the call outs proved to be false alarms with good intent, this bank holiday the RNLI were able to rescue 12 people from separate call outs and all were brought to safety from situations that could have been quite serious’

‘Always check the tide times and conditions before you set off and while out, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on the tide direction. Ask for local advice and look out for safety signs. Always carry a means of calling for help and know to call 112/999 and ask for the Coastguard if you or someone else is at risk.’

The RNLI continues to provide an on call 24/7 search and rescue lifeboat service. To ensure peoples’ own safety in or on the water please adhere to the relevant water safety guidance for your activity. More information can be found at www.rnli.org/safety

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Howth RNLI launched their inshore lifeboat last night (Tuesday 12th May) to reports of a person stranded in a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) with engine trouble while fishing off Howth.

The RNLI pagers sounded at 7.25 pm after a call was placed to the Coast Guard reporting a person stranded in a rigid inflatable boat while out fishing alone in the waters just outside Howth.

Howth RNLI volunteer crew members Fin Goggin (Helm), Killian O’Reilly and Robert Kerley launched the Inshore Lifeboat within 13 minutes of getting the call and proceeded to the area and quickly where they located the 4.5 metre RIB with one person aboard. The person had been fishing alone but his engine had failed to start and was drifting with the tide which was ebbing out to sea.

The RIB was taken in tow by the crew of the inshore lifeboat and the person was unharmed by the incident and returned safely to shore at Howth Lifeboat Station. 

The wind was Force 2 and the sea state was calm.

Speaking following the callout, Noel Davidson, Howth RNLI Volunteer Press Officer said: ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew are always ready to respond to a call for help. In this case, the man was fishing on his own but with engine failure, he was being pulled out to sea and could have gotten into serious difficulty if help had not arrived. Thankfully he was located quickly and brought to safety.’

‘We would ask that people adhere to recently published public health advice from the Government when they resume any water-based activity and help minimise the risk to Search and Rescue and frontline emergency services from being unintentionally exposed to Coronavirus.’

The RNLI continues to provide an on-call 24/7 search and rescue lifeboat service. To ensure peoples’ own safety in or on the water please adhere to the relevant water safety guidance for your activity. More information can be found at www.rnli.org/safety

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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We’ll begin by making it clear that this remarkable image of Tuesday night’s super-moon over Balscadden Bay in Howth was taken at 2041hrs by a Howth resident within the prescribed two kilometres of her residence, using a carbon-neutral means of transport. And while the moon itself and the cloud with it have probably caused rumours of Unidentified Flying Objects (for they’re regular visitors to the peninsula and had scheduled flights to Mars before the lock-down), another area of interest is the high level of literary associations within this one remarkable photo.

For the little cliffside house at centre has a plaque which claims association with the Yeats family. But while the poet’s often penniless father John Butler Yeats did indeed briefly accommodate his family there around 1880, their two year stay in Howth in the early 1880s was in the harbour-side house where traditional boat enthusiast Mick Hunt and his wife Elaine now live. W B Yeats' sisters remembered it as only crowded, cold and damp, but as anyone who has visited the house today will know, Mick has achieved a miracle of transformation to make it a warm, dry, airy and welcoming place.

But in any case, the more immediate association of that little cliffside house, or the next one along to the right of the photo, is that Gaynor Crist, the original for J P Donleavy’s Ginger Man, lived there for a while in the 1940s when he was a GI Bill student at Trinity College. Many of us find a re-reading of The Ginger Man, so symbolic of our younger days, to be a rather depressing experience today, but nevertheless it reveals that while ensconced on the Balscadden cliffs in a rented house in which the waves moaned and crashed in the cliff caves close underneath, the Ginger Man found he was completely broke and very hungry.

But he noted that one of the beds was covered in a pink blanket. So he took the scissors from the kitchen and cut the blanket into strips, one of which he then modified into a passable resemblance of a scarf. As he favoured tweed jackets and rustic apparel, with this scarf he immediately became the very image a a Trinity sporting pink (the highly-respected TCD equivalent of an Oxford blue), and was thus able to stride with confidence down the the Balscadden Road and along the harbour front to Findlater’s splendid grocery emporium (these days it's Michael Wright’s gastro-pub of the same name), wherein he had no trouble running up a credit list as long as your arm of a substantial and comprehensive order of high quality victuals, which were then promptly delivered to Balscadden by one of the familiar Findlater vans.

It is not thought that the bill was ever paid…..As for Findlater’s in Howth, it is written for ever into local sailing history, for when the Howth 17 class got going in 1898, it was in their sailing instructions that “The time (for starts) to be taken from Findlater’s clock”.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Howth RNLI launched their Inshore lifeboat yesterday (Tuesday 3 March) to rescue two people stranded on rocks in Balscadden Bay.

Pagers sounded at 1.58pm after a call was placed to the coastguard reporting two people stranded at the base of the cliffs just east of Howth’s East Pier.

Volunteer crew members launched the inshore lifeboat within 12 minutes of getting the call and proceeded to the area, where they quickly located the casualties.

Both were taken aboard the lifeboat and checked over and were found to be unharmed and in good spirits as they were returned safely to shore.

They confirmed that they were tourists visiting the area and got caught out by the incoming tide while walking at the base of the cliffs.

Speaking following the callout, lifeboat helm Killian O’Reilly said: “We were delighted to assist the tourists after they found themselves in difficulty.

“They did the right thing and called for assistance and remained calm. As visitors to the area they were unfamiliar with the tides and location.

“We were pleased to drop them back ashore safe and sound and hope they enjoy the remainder of their visit to Ireland.”

Published in Rescue
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Howth RNLI is hosting a special Lifeboat Supporters’ Evening tonight, Tuesday 19 November, from 7.30pm at Howth Yacht Club.

Those attending will learn the latest news and updates from the Howth lifesaving volunteers, as well as see video of their vital rescue efforts.

RNLI Christmas cards and souvenirs will also be on sale to raise funs for the charity that saves lives at sea. All are welcome to attend.

This coming Thursday (21 November) there will also be a lifeboat evening at King Sitric restaurant, with a six course local seasonal menu and a lively auction in aid of Howth RNLI. Details are on Facebook HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Folklore and Maritime Legends of Howth are all included in the book “Catching the Past” to be launched on Thursday next 14th at 8 pm in the Abbey Tavern, Howth, County Dublin.

The launch will be part of an evening of music, song, prose, and craic. The very popular tenor entertainer Bryan Hoey, with musicians Lillian Connor and Noel Carroll will entertain and John Chambers, Principal of Scoil Mhuire will give readings from the book.

Tickets for the evening, €10, are available from the Abbey Tavern, Nicky’s Plaice on the West Pier or Pat Murphy 087 253 13 41.

Published in Howth YC
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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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