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Displaying items by tag: Ports and Shipping

#belfastlough - In an announcement Belfast Harbour is to invest £15 million to re-develop one of its ferry terminals.

The project, reports The Irish News, is part of a long-term investment strategy in port infrastructure will see the transformation of Victoria Terminal 2 (VT2), which currently services Stena Line's popular Belfast to Liverpool route.

The major investment will enable the terminal to handle the next generation of modern RoRo (Roll-On / Roll-Off) ferry vessels, including Stena's new E-Flexer ships.

Co Down based contractor Graham has been appointed to carry out the work, on the same day the firm secured a contract for Europe's largest infrastructure project – Crossrail.

More on the story can be found here.

Published in Belfast Lough
Tagged under

#Belfast - An investment by Belfast Harbour costing £3m has led to the world's largest hydraulic crane that is due to be delivered in the Spring.

The 40-metre high Finnish machine reports Belfast Telegraph weighs 370 tonnes and can manage individual loads of up to 50 tonnes.

The harbour said 'Mantsinen 300M' will be the largest of its kind operating in any British or Irish port, enabling greater flexibility at the site, which handles 23 million tonnes of cargo annually.

The new crane will be capable of discharging up to 1,000 tonnes of bulk cargo such as grain or animal feed per hour.

For comments on the new port infrastructure can be read here. 

Published in Belfast Lough

#Coastal - People in their hundreds have attended a memorial service in Bantry, west Cork, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Whiddy Oil disaster in which 50 people died.

As RTE reports, the French-owned oil tanker the Betelgeuse caught fire and exploded as it was unloading crude oil at Whiddy Island in Bantry Bay in the early hours of 8 January 1979.

A lone piper led the Irish and French relatives past dozens of floral wreaths - among them flowers from oil companies Total and Chevron - into St Finbarr's Church today where the names of the deceased were read out.

The victims - 42 French, seven Irish and one English - were remembered during a bilingual service conducted by Bishop of Cork and Ross Dr John Buckley.

For more on the disaster which took place four decades ago, click here.

Published in Coastal Notes

The latest IMDO iShip Index indicates growth in shipping and port activity in the Republic of Ireland by 5% in Q3 of 2017 verses Q3 in 2016.

There was positive year on year growth across all major cargo markets. Notable however, has been the continued steady growth of Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro/Ro) trade at 5%, continuing a trend of strong growth within this sector which began in Q1 2014.

Furthermore, there has been particularly strong growth the Lift-on/Lift-off (Lo/Lo) sector at 7% overall in laden traffic. This has been driven by an 11% growth in laden exports, which is encouraging as laden exports are driven by activity in the manufacturing and agricultural industries. Laden Lo/Lo imports increased by 4% year on year.

When Lo/Lo and Ro/Ro traffic from Northern Ireland (NI) is included, all-island Ro/Ro volumes increased by 4% in Q3 2017. All-island Lo/Lo traffic grew again this quarter by 6%, with all-island imports and exports rising by 4% and 9% respectively compared to Q3 2016. NI Ro/Ro volumes grew by 2%, while NI Lo/Lo traffic grew by 3%.

The Bulk Traffic segment saw tonnage volumes increase this quarter by 4% (excluding transhipments) in the ROI when compared to the same period last year. This was driven primarily by increases in Break Bulk tonnage by 9%. Dry Bulk volumes grew by 2% while Liquid Bulk traffic increased 5% compared to Q3 2016 (excluding transhipments). However, when transhipments are included, Liquid Bulk grew by 13% this quarter compared to 2016.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Tagged under

Three new, ship-to-shore container cranes manufactured in Ireland by Liebherr and assembled in Cork Harbour are scheduled for delivery to Crowley Puerto Rico Services’ Isla Grande Terminal in San Juan later this month.

As Afloat.ie previously reported, the cranes which are currently on board the Overseas Heavy Transport (OHT) vessel ‘Albatross’, transferred from Cork Dockyard to the Port of Cork’s Deepwater berth in Ringaskiddy to take on ballast before departure to San Juan. Each crane has a capacity of 65 tons and measure approximately 65 meters tall, with an outreach of 40 meters.

Ringaskiddy Deepwater Berth is capable of handling vessels of this size and providing a fast and efficient turnaround of such vessels. Before the ‘Albatross’ departs, it will share the berth with the weekly Maersk container service from Central America, bringing the overall length of both vessels alongside to 414 metres.

Speaking about the Port of Cork’s capabilities as a “Tier 1 port of national significance” and a naturally deep water port, Commercial Manager Captain Michael McCarthy said: The Port of Cork is delighted to partner with Liebherr Cranes in selecting our Ringaskiddy Deepwater port to export their cranes to World markets. We have had an excellent relationship with Liebherr since the early 1990’s when we commissioned two cranes for our facility in Ringaskiddy. Since then we have grown our relationship with the company and all our port cranes are manufactured by Liebherr.’

He continued: ‘It is great to see Liebherr recognising our exporting capability as a deep water port.’

While in Ringaskiddy the OHT vessel, which was originally designed as an oil tanker and converted to a crane carrier, will take on large volume of water ballast in the lower ballast tanks to counteract the weight of the cranes on deck. Each crane weighs approx. 900 tons; however the weight is evenly distributed on the main deck of the vessel. The cranes are then secured firmly (welded) to the deck of the vessel and as such they form a single composite unit.

According to John Hourihan Jr., Crowley’s senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico Services, the electric-powered cranes will be used to load and discharge containerized cargo being carried aboard Crowley’s two new liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered, Commitment Class Con-Ro ships.

He said: “With these state-of-the-art cranes now erected, we are taking another step toward the transformation of our terminal into the most modern and efficient port facility on the island of Puerto Rico. We eagerly await their arrival here.”

Published in Port of Cork

Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport is inviting nominations in respect of the National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Service Awards 2016. The purpose of this awards scheme is to recognise outstanding acts of courage, heroism, skill and initiative in the context of marine emergency incidents. The scheme also recognises exceptional dedication to duty in the execution of Ireland’s marine emergency response. The Marine Gallantry award is presented in the form of a medal (called the Michael Heffernan Medal for Marine Gallantry, in memory of an individual who lost his life during a marine incident a number of years ago). Three levels of medal may be awarded, based on the level of gallantry involved. The medal is awarded in gold, silver or bronze.

A second award, Marine Meritorious Service Medal, may be awarded where outstanding meritorious service has been provided to, or within the remit of, the Irish Coast Guard. The person must have demonstrated exceptional dedication to duty, coupled with skill and initiative, in the execution of the service being provided.

A Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation may be awarded for meritorious service where outstanding dedication to duty over a career of service can be demonstrated, or for an act of particular meritorious dedication, showing skill and initiative, but which is not of an order for receipt of a Meritorious Service Medal.

The National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Service Awards Committee is chaired by Mr Bryan Dobson of RTE. Members of the Committee include representatives of the following, the Irish Sailing Association, Irish Water Safety, Irish Harbour Masters Association, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport as well as other independent members. The National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Awards Committee will adjudicate upon the nomination received.

The first award ceremony took place in February 1999 and the awards ceremony was last held on 23rd October 2014. In this round of Awards, nominations may be considered in respect of events occurring during the period 31st August 2014 to 31st August 2016.

Details of the Awards scheme, including nomination form, are available on the Department’s website www.dttas.ie/maritime/english/marine-awards. Completed nomination forms should be submitted by Friday 9th September 2016. The submission should be comprehensive and include all relevant information (e.g. eye-witness statements, official reports, maps, charts, photographs, newspaper cuttings etc.).

2014 Award Recipients
Mr Tony McNamara and Mr. Patrick McNamara - Marine Ministerial Letters of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
Mr Ben Graham, Mr David Grant and Mr. Alexander May - Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
Drogheda Coast Guard Unit - Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
Mr Michael O’Regan and the crew of the Goleen Coast Guard Unit - Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
Mr Jim Griffin – Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
Mr Damien Dempsey – Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
Mulroy Coast Guard Unit – Michael Heffernan Bronze Medal for Marine Gallantry

Published in News Update

#ShippingReview - Jehan Ashmore reviews the shipping scene over the last fortnight.

Following the momentous decision of the British electorate to vote 'Leave' from the EU, the Irish Minister for the Marine issued a statement in which he said “The UK exit vote also raises complex issues for the fisheries sector. Of course, the most immediate concerns for agri-food exporters centre on exchange rates”.

It was earlier this month that the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne visited Warrenpoint Port and local MP's in advance of the EU Referendum. The Co. Down port is where Cronus Logistics has taken over operations of Irish Sea container feeder services.

European Sea Port Organisation (ESPO) have launched a roadmap to cut out red-tape on maritime transport following the debate and implementation of the Reporting Formalities Directive (RFD).

Lo-Lo operator, Samskip launch track and trace capability for its 45ft refrigerated container fleet. Over time, the entire reefer fleet is expected to feature the track & trace capability.

RMS St. Helena having made a historic once-off visit to the Pool of London, bid farewell from Tilbury, on her final ever voyage from the UK, bound ultimately for St. Helena, some 4,500 miles away.

Rival flotilla’s on the Thames clashed over the EU Common Fisheries Policy. This led to Sir Bob Geldoff’s of the Remain camp trade insults with Nigel Farage, UKIP leader of the opposing Leave campaign.

Training vessel Empire State VI included a call to Dublin Port as part of the annual State University of New York’s sea-term. This is one of the requirements for cadets to earn a U.S. Coast Guard license.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#BREXITport? - The UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne reports MultiModal, met senior executives from Warrenpoint Harbour Authority (WHA) and local MP's during a visit to the Co Down port yesterday.

The Chancellor met MP Margaret Ritchie, along with Nicola Walker and managing director of Cronus Logistics, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, new operator of Irish Sea container feeder services. This includes the only Ireland-Wales service connecting Dublin and Cardiff along with Belfast and Bristol. 

The Chancellor was shown round the docks and observed ro/ro and containerised operations along with the discharge of bulk grain ships. He was also shown timber that is imported through Warrenpoint but ultimately is transported across the land frontiers into the south of Ireland.

“We are pleased that the Chancellor recognises the importance of Warrenpoint as a strategic port for imports and exports in Ireland,” says Nicola.

Speaking to the media during his tour he said, “I’m here at Warrenpoint and it’s a very practical demonstration of the fact that Northern Ireland has the only land border with an EU country… If we quit the EU, this is going to be the border with the EU.”

He later crossed the border on a lorry delivering timber into Dublin.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#PortGovernance - Independent management, masterplanning and digitalisation are among some of the trends in EU port governance highlighted by the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) in its 2016 Fact-Finding Report.

Port Strategy writes that the report states most port authorities in Europe remain publicly owned. Full ownership by the state or by the municipality remains predominant, while only a few port authorities combine ownership of different government levels. Mix public-private ownership, meanwhile, is still much rarer and exists in just a few European countries.

The report noted, however, that seaports are moving towards more independent private-like management. “Compared to 2010, more port authorities are structured as independent commercial entities and operate in a commercially-orientated manner. In 2016, they account for 51%of the respondents. Next, 44% or port authorities are still independent public bodies with their own legal personality and different degrees of functional and financial dependency from the public administration,” it said.

To read more, click here.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#PortYachtClub - Pembrokeshire Yacht Club members have strengthened their commitment to safety on the Waterway after securing sponsorship from the Port of Milford Haven.

The club applied to the Port’s Community Fund in order to purchase new navigation lights for their five longboats which are used by the rowing section in Gelliswick.

Emma Gent from Pembrokeshire Yacht Club, said “We are delighted with our new navigation lights, they have allowed us to continue with our training throughout the winter safely in the Haven. We would like to thank the Port of Milford Haven for their continued support.”

Assistant Harbourmaster and Chair of the Community Fund John Warneford, commented “We were pleased to be able to help PYC in securing new navigation lights as it will ensure their boats are well lit and detectable to others on the Waterway. Safety is our number one priority and anything that clubs and individuals can do to enhance their own safety measures is very much welcomed.”

To apply to the Community Fund, please visit: www.mhpa.co.uk/financial-support

Published in Ports & Shipping
Page 1 of 13

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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