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Irish Navy Ships
Newest Naval Service offshore patrol vessel (OPV) LÉ George Bernard Shaw opens to the public this weekend (7th and 8th Dec) while alongside Rathmullan Pier, Lough Swilly in Co. Donegal. Also above is an older version of the class, the OPV LÉ Niamh at sea along with a Coastal Patrol Vessel (CPV).
Newest Naval Service vessel, LÉ George Bernard Shaw is to open to the public for guided tours this weekend (7th-8th December) at Rathmullan Pier in Lough Swilly, Co. Donegal. Navy personnel of the latest offshore patrol vessel (OPV90) P60 class…
Serving members of the Irish Naval Service who spend at least 80 days at sea will be eligible
A special tax credit by the Government is to introduced for sea-going naval personnel from next year. Serving members of the Naval Service, who spend at least 80 days at sea, will be eligible for the credit worth €1,270 per…
The Naval Service patrol ship LÉ William Butler Yeats (above) detained the fishing vessel about 59 nautical miles north-west of Valentia Island
A Spanish registered fishing vessel has been escorted into Galway by the Naval Service after it was detained off the Kerry coast writes Lorna Siggins. The vessel was inspected by the Naval Service patrol ship LÉ William Butler Yeats and…
Pierre-Emmanuel De Bauw, Ambassador of Belgium to Ireland made a visit on board BNS Louise-Marie in Dublin Port during a week which also saw a momentous political outcome as a Brexit-Deal was finally agreed in Brussels, the capital of Belgium.
A Belgian Navy frigate conducting exercises in the Irish Sea was tracked by Afloat days in advance of a visit to Dublin Port and in the run up to this week's Brexit Deal finally struck in Brussels, writes Jehan Ashmore.…
Following LÉ Samuel Beckett (P61) visit to the USA in New York during the recent United Nations Climate Action Summit, AFLOAT adds the 'Beckett' /P60 class leadship OPV has departed New York (above: Statue of Liberty) and is underway to Boston where the offshore patrol vessel will be open to the public tomorrow, Friday and Saturday (10.00- 17.00hrs)
President of the Defence Forces representative body Pdforra has said conditions for members are so bad that 80 naval personnel are living on (ships), some of which were deemed to be unsuitable for accommodation when they were commissioned 35 years…
File photo of the Defence Forces chief of staff Vice Admiral Mark Mellett
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said strengthening the Defence Forces (which includes the Naval Service) will take time and retaining personnel at present was a “real challenge”. However, he said he was confident “we are back on track” after military…
President Michael D Higgins
Ministers reports The Irish Examiner, have described comments by President Michael D Higgins that members of the Defence Forces should have sufficient incomes as “deeply unhelpful”. Mr Higgins’s comments on Wednesday night caused widespread surprise, anger, and bemusement in Government…
President Michael D Higgins and Vice Admiral Mark Mellett presented Able Mechanician Ryan O’Driscoll with the The Respect award at Aras an Uachtarain
A Naval Service diver who was involved in migrant rescue in the Mediterranean is one of seven recipients of Defence Forces value awards conferred by President Michael D Higgins on Wednesday evening writes Lorna Siggins Able Mechanician Ryan O’Driscoll, originally…
Naval Service base at Haulbowline, Cork Harbour
The Irish Examiner writes, the number of recruits paying to get out of the Defence Forces before their training has even finished confirms claims the retention crisis can't be overcome by major recruitment drives alone. Figures obtained by Jack Chambers,…
The fishing boat was detained by LÉ Niamh south west of the Fastnet Rock on Wednesday
A fishing vessel registered in France according to RTE News, has been detained off the Cork coast. The Naval Service vessel LÉ Niamh detained the boat (on Wednesday) and its crew around 150 nautical miles south west of Fastnet Rock. The…
LÉ Samuel Beckett on manoeuvres in 2014
The Naval Service denies any personnel on the LÉ Samuel Beckett were put in danger by the poor state of equipment used to raise and lower RIBs into the water, as The Irish Times reports. The statement followed an inspection…
Lé Samuel Beckett, an Irish Naval Service patrol vessel, detained the Portuguese vessel approximately 200 nautical miles south of Fastnet Rock
In Irish waters a Portuguese-registered fishing vessel, reports The Irish Times, was detained by the Navy Service on Thursday. The Lé Samuel Beckett, a Naval Service patrol vessel, detained the Portuguese boat approximately 200 nautical miles south of Fastnet Rock,…
Detention of a fishing vessel took place off Dublin coastline by the LÉ George Bernard Shaw
The Irish Defence Forces, reports Journal.ie, have detained a fishing vessel off the coast of Dublin (yesterday) for allegedly breaching fishing regulations. The vessel was stopped 20 nautical miles northeast of Howth in Co Dublin by the Naval Service Vessel…
Commodore John Kavanagh, formerly Officer Commanding Naval Service. In 1979 as Captain John Kavanagh, he was in command of the LE Deirdre which played a central role in the Fastnet Disaster Rescue and was on station for longer than any other vessel
The significant role played by the Irish Naval Service in the 1979 Fastnet Race Disaster has sometimes been overlooked in the dramatic images of helicopters and lifeboats in direct action writes W Nixon. But in fact the LE Deirdre under…
Lieutenant Commanders Nessa Maloney (LE Ciara), Grace Fanning, (LE Riosin) and Clare Murphy (LE Niamh).
Only just 6.5% of personnel account for women in the Naval Service but for the first time in its history, three of its ships - a third of the fleet - are being captained by female Lieutenant Commanders. As the…
Large guns must be stripped down for maintenance every three months. Above AFLOAT adds is LÉ Samuel Beckett which as above last week carried out primary armament gunnery drills involving its bow-mounted Oto Melara 76mm gun.
According to The Irish Times, the Naval Service is operating with about a third of the required number of personnel needed to safely maintain its weapons. There are currently only three armourers, also known as armament artificers, in the Naval…

The Irish Navy 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

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 sea lift, 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.

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