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The Department of Defence is seeking tenders to recycle decommissioned Naval Service Vessels.

Three were decommissioned at the same time last Summer - LÉ Eithne and two coastal patrol vessels LÉ Orla and LÉ Ciara.

This was described at the time as “an unprecedented move”, and there has been speculation about what would be done with them. There were reports of interest from the Philippines Government and a possible buyer in the Netherlands.

However, the last Naval ship auctioned off, LÉ Aisling, eventually ended in the ownership of Libyan warlord General Khalifa Haftar. That caused controversy because the auction achieved €110,000 for the State. A Dutch company and another in the UAE were later reportedly involved. Reports claimed that Haftar purchased it for a reputed €1.3m.

LÉ Eithne was the last Naval Service ship built in the Verlome Dockyard at Rushbrooke in Cork Harbour, close to the Naval Base. She went into service in 1984 and was the first Irish Naval vessel to cross the Atlantic in 1986.

Cork County Council was reported to be interested in acquiring Eithne as a floating museum in the harbour, but more recently, it has been reported that the Department of Defence was in discussion with Dublin Port about the vessel going there.

On the Government e-Tenders website, the Department of Defence is now seeking tenders “for the provision of Ship Recycling Consultancy Services to support the recycling of decommissioned Naval Service Vessels by safe and environmentally sound recycling methods via an EU-approved ship-recycling facility by the EU’s Ship Recycling Regulation.”

While the EU’s Ship Recycling Regulation does not apply to warships, the Department says its intention is “to follow the Regulations in the recycling process.” It estimates that the expenditure on the Services to be covered by the proposed Services Contract “may amount to €130,000, excluding VAT. Tenderers must understand that this figure is an estimate only based on current and future expected usage.”

The closing date for tenders is noon on Monday, February 13.

It appears that, for the decommissioned, laid-up vessels, the Department of Defence is now looking at demolition and recycling, which would prevent Irish Naval ships from going to warlords!

 

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A German-registered Spanish vessel which was involved in a confrontation off the Scottish coast over two years ago has been detained by the Naval Service off the southwest coast.

The 26m Pesorsa Dos was detained last Saturday (January 21) by the LE George Bernard Shaw, but it took several days to haul its gear before it could be escorted into Castletownbere, Co Cork yesterday (Thurs Jan 26).

It is also understood that the fishing vessel’s boarding ladder broke when the Naval Service patrol crew was trying to gain access to the vessel.

The same vessel from La Coruna in northern Spain was previously detained in the Irish exclusive economic zone, 250 miles north of Donegal’s Malin Head, in July 2020.

The LE George Bernard ShawThe LE George Bernard Shaw

A Naval Service spokeswoman confirmed that a German-registered vessel was being escorted to port but could not confirm where the detention occurred, beyond stating it was “within the Irish exclusive economic zone”.

The spokeswoman could not give details on the nature of the alleged infringements.

In June 2020, the Spanish-owned vessel was accused of attempting to foul the propellor of Shetland-owned demersal trawler, Alison Kay, some 30 miles west of the Shetland Islands, by towing a heavy warp across its track.

The British authorities said they could not investigate the incident as it was outside the 12 nautical mile limit. It occurred just a month before its detention in Irish waters.

Navy staff shortages

Recruitment and staffing shortages mean that the Naval Service will only have four operational patrol vessels from next week, the Department of Defence has confirmed.

It has confirmed that two patrol ships, LÉ Roisín and LÉ Niamh, are being put into “operational reserve”, and the fleet will be down to four ships from February 1st.

“The decision to place the LÉ Roisín and LÉ Niamh into operational reserve is aimed at stabilising operational delivery and assisting in Naval Service regeneration which entails the prioritisation of personnel training and development of existing Naval Service personnel,” the department said.

“The Naval Service is satisfied that, notwithstanding the withdrawal from operational duties of the LÉ Roisin, they will be able to fulfil their current maritime security and defence commitments, including commitments provided for under the current service level agreement with the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency,” the department said.

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The Naval Service recorded three detentions during 350 fisheries-related inspection boardings last year in the Irish exclusive economic zone.

A review of 2022 released by the Defence Forces press office said that fishing vessels from Ireland, Britain, France, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, and Belgium were boarded and inspected in 2022.

Working with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, the Naval Service patrols 220 million maritime acres of sea (over twelve times the land mass of Ireland), representing 15% of Europe’s fisheries, the press office said.

The Naval Service Dive Section was deployed on four occasions last year, with operations including search and rescue and recovery of missing persons, it said.

There were five separate search and rescue responses from the Naval Service in 2022, while the joint task force on drugs was also “operational”. The task force involves the Naval Service, Air Corps, Revenue Commissioners and Garda Siochána.

Naval Service ships and crew were also involved in ten foreign visits last year to Britain, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, the US and Canada.

The Air Corps responded to more than 415 emergency aeromedical services (EAS) missions last year.

Its Athlone helicopter base supports the National Ambulance Service (NAS) in providing a medical service for seriously ill patients. Its air crew also carried out 49 inter-hospital air ambulance tasks both nationally and internationally to Britain and Europe.

Over 450 hours of maritime surveillance patrol flights were recorded by the Air Corps.

Its aircraft responded to several requests to provide aerial fire-fighting in Mayo, Wicklow and Dublin to protect property in an “aid to civil power” role.

It also continued to support Garda Air Support Unit operations and provided flights “as required to the Garda to repatriate people who had been the subject of “EU removal and exclusion orders”,the press office said.

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A local Government TD says he’s “confident” that Galway will be chosen to host a new naval base for an expanded Irish Navy.

Speaking to Galway Talks yesterday, Defence Minister Simon Coveney confirmed a new base will be sited along the west coast as part of plans to radically increase spending.

He said while Galway is in the running, it could be located anywhere between Galway and Donegal.

But Fine Gael Deputy Ciaran Cannon believes Galway is the most logical choice.

Meanwhile, a Dun Laoghaire TD has repeated her call this week for the 'underutilised' Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay to be a base for the Navy in the capital's waters.

Published in Galway Harbour
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Irish Naval Service vessel LÉ Róisín (pictured above) will be docked in Britannia Quay, Cardiff Bay from 18th-20th July with members of the public able to come on board.

The ship, constructed at Appledore Shipyards in Devon, and crew are usually patrolling the high seas.

However, they will be docked in Cardiff Bay to host a range of events in collaboration with the Consulate General of Ireland. The visit will celebrate the strong Ireland - Wales relationship and in particular the recent establishment of the Irish Consulate.

LÉ Róisín will be based at Britannia Quay, Cardiff Bay, CF10 4PJ, a short walk from the Millennium Centre and Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament.

Members of the public are welcome to come onto the deck and receive tours of the ship.

The ship will be open for free public viewings from:

  • 14:00-17:00 - Monday 18th July
  • 10:00-12:00 - Tuesday 19th July
  • 14:00-17:00 - Tuesday 19th July

There will also be a crew member on the ground who will be able to talk about life on the ship with any visitors with mobility or accessibility requirements.

This is a rare opportunity to visit an Irish navy vessel, meet the crew, and learn about the Irish Defence Forces and their experiences of seafaring.

Commenting on the Irish Navy’s visit, Consul General of Ireland, Denise Hanrahan said:

“I am delighted that Cardiff Bay will be home to the Irish navy’s LÉ Róisín from the 18th to 20th of July.

We look forward to welcoming many visitors on board in celebration of the close connections between Wales and Ireland, and to express our appreciation for all the support we have had in establishing Ireland’s diplomatic presence in Wales.

Our maritime heritage and the Irish Sea are central to the diverse and vibrant cultural, economic and community relationships between Ireland and Wales.”

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Our Shared Ocean, a collaboration between Irish Aid-Department of Foreign Affairs and the Marine Institute, was launched in Lisbon yesterday by Irish Ambassador to Portugal, Ralph Victory, on board the Irish Naval Service Vessel, L.E. George Bernard Shaw, during the 2022 UN Ocean Conference.

Our Shared Ocean will provide €3.8 million over the next five years to facilitate partnerships on ocean-related issues between research institutions in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and their counterparts in Ireland.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Niall McDonough, Director of Policy, Innovation and Research Services at the Marine Institute, said, "we are proud to launch the Our Shared Ocean programme on the occasion of the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon. This flagship programme will support the development of new knowledge and new partnerships between researchers in Small Island Developing States and Ireland. As island nations, Our Shared Ocean can help us work better together to address the common challenges presented by climate change and to find solutions to sustainably benefit from the enormous potential of our ocean and its resources."

Our Shared Ocean aims to:

  • Build the Irish capability and knowledge base in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to sustainable ocean management as set out in Global Ireland and the SIDS Strategy;
  • Support capacity building in eligible SIDS partner countries and in Ireland in Oceans and Climate Action, Inclusive and sustainable blue economy and Marine Policy and ocean governance.
  • Establish and grow research partnerships between Irish institutions and international counterparts, providing research and technical support to assist eligible SIDS in addressing specific ocean and climate related challenges and opportunities.

The Marine Institute have developed a suite of research funding instruments in order to achieve these objectives, via Mobility and Travel Grants; Fellowships and Research Projects; and direct contribution to international programmes supporting ocean capacity building in eligible SIDS, with the first calls being launched this month. The programme is a key element of Ireland's contribution to the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

The launch of Our Shared Ocean in Lisbon also provided the opportunity to celebrate 80 years of relations between Ireland and Portugal. It recognised the strong marine links between the two countries, including through the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the Marine Institute and the Instituto do Mar e da Atmosfera.

As Afloat reported earlier, The Fair Seas campaign has welcomed Ireland’s contribution of almost 10 million euro to address ocean challenges faced by developing countries, including small island developing states. The funding was confirmed earlier this week by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney on the eve of the UN Ocean Conference.

Published in Marine Science
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Castletownbere RNLI was launched last night (Wednesday 09 March 2022) just after 22:00 to go to the assistance of a crewman onboard the Irish Navy vessel L.E. George Bernard Shaw who had become injured during sea exercises off the coast of West Cork.

Castletownbere lifeboat volunteer crew were requested to launch by Valentia Coastguard Marine Coordination Centre to provide assistance to the man who was on board the naval vessel which was at anchor at Lawrence Cove off Bere Island in West Cork. The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew David O’Donovan, Martin Cronin, Dave Fenton, Seamus Harrington, Marc O’Hare and Donagh Murphy.

At 22:23 the lifeboat arrived on the scene and the conditions were described as very calm. The crewman was transferred by stretcher from the naval vessel to the lifeboat where he subsequently received casualty care. On arrival at Castletownbere RNLI Station at 22:56, the injured man was met by paramedics from the National Ambulance Service and he subsequently received medical assessment and attention.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Paul Stevens, stated: ‘Thankfully, this was a very straightforward call out and everything went very smoothly – we wish the injured crewman a full and speedy recovery’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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An exhibition about the Naval Service has opened at the Passage West Maritime Museum, recounting how the Cork Harbour village has been a strong provider of Navy personnel.

Intriguingly, it includes a detailed account of 21 years’ service by local man Jim McIntyre, who enlisted at the age of 15 in October 1956. Recalling the days of corvettes and minesweepers, bought from the Royal Navy, he recounts that “crews were scarce in those days.”

Naval Exhibition at Passage West MuseumNaval Exhibition at Passage West Museum

That challenge faces the Naval Service again today, pointed out at the opening of the exhibition which follows the Commission on the Defence Forces Review that highlighted the need to increase personnel and ships.

Jim Mcintyre in the Engine Room of L.E.Maev in 1964Jim Mcintyre in the Engine Room of L.E.Maev in 1964

The Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service, Michael Malone, accepts that this is a challenging time for the Service. “But we have seen peaks and troughs over the years. People are slow to engage in joining the defence forces, but we will turn that corner. We will get the personnel we need. Seagoing is something you have to be dedicated to. We will get the personnel we need,” he told me in an interview at the Naval Base.

Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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The Naval Service and Air Corps say they have observed north America, Russian and French vessels both inside and outside Ireland's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) over the past week.

These observations include two Russian warships within the Irish EEZ and a third warship believed to be a NATO vessel.

In footage captured between January 31st and February 3rd, the Defence Forces press office say they have also observed a British RAF combat aircraft south-east of and outside the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The international naval vessels are transmitting on the automatic identification system (AIS) and are outside Irish territorial waters – as in the 12- mile limit – the press office states.

Russian Vessel EKHOROVRussian Vessel EKHOROV

The Defence Forces press office says that this activity is “in line with UN Convention on the Law Of the Sea (UNCLOS) rules for transit through international waters”.

French Navy 793French Navy 793

It says that under UNCLOS, there is “no restriction on warships operating on the high seas inside and outside of EEZs”.

US Navy 80US Navy 80

This point has been disputed this week by Prof Clive Symmons of Trinity College, Dublin, who is an international maritime law expert, and who says Ireland is within its rights to decline requests for military exercises within its EEZ.

However, military ships are allowed a right of freedom of passage under UNCLOS, he says.

RAF Eurofighter TyphoonRAF Eurofighter Typhoon

Images were taken by the Air Corps Casa maritime patrol aircraft “Charlie 252” include a number of US, Russian, French and UK warships south-east of and outside Irish EEZ during daylight hours between January 31st and February 3rd.

RAF Eurofighter Typhoon jets were observed in the vicinity of these ships, and the Naval Service patrol ship LE Samuel Beckett was in the area.

Russian vessel 055Russian vessel 055

During nighttime on the same dates, “Charlie 252” observed two Russian warships within Ireland’s EEZ, and a “third warship also in the vicinity which is believed to be a NATO vessel”.

Russian vessel 461Russian vessel 461

All footage and images were taken between 31 Jan - 03 Feb 2022.

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The actor Niamh Cusack temporarily enlisted with the Naval Service to give a professional reading of a significant poem on board the L.É.James Joyce while alongside Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Her nuanced, balanced and knowing delivery of the work, recorded by the Defence Forces Audio Visual Section, can be viewed below.

For this phase of the Naval Service’s 75th Anniversary year, a poem submitted by a serving member of the Navy was selected by Naval Headquarters to mark the occasion.

The poem is entitled ‘Statio Bene Fida Carinis’ (Latin for ‘A Place Most Suitable For Ships’). It envisages the Navy’s fleet circumnavigating Ireland from its Base in Cork Harbour, touching on Irish maritime historical and mythological events en route.

The poem makes the point that Ireland’s maritime tradition spans the centuries.

More from the Dublin Gazette here.

Published in Navy
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boot Düsseldorf, the International Boat Show

With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. Around 2,000 exhibitors present their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

boot Düsseldorf FAQs

boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair. Seventeen exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology.

The Fairground Düsseldorf. This massive Dusseldorf Exhibition Centre is strategically located between the River Rhine and the airport. It's about 20 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the city centre.

250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair.

The 2018 show was the golden jubilee of the show, so 2021 will be the 51st show.

Every year in January. In 2021 it will be 23-31 January.

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH Messeplatz 40474 Düsseldorf Tel: +49 211 4560-01 Fax: +49 211 4560-668

The Irish marine trade has witnessed increasing numbers of Irish attendees at boot over the last few years as the 17-Hall show becomes more and more dominant in the European market and direct flights from Dublin offer the possibility of day trips to the river Rhine venue.

Boats & Yachts Engines, Engine parts Yacht Equipment Watersports Services Canoes, Kayaks, Rowing Waterski, Wakeboard, Kneeboard & Skimboard Jetski + Equipment & Services Diving, Surfing, Windsurfing, Kite Surfing & SUP Angling Maritime Art & Crafts Marinas & Watersports Infrastructure Beach Resorts Organisations, Authorities & Clubs

Over 1000 boats are on display.

©Afloat 2020

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Organiser
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Messeplatz
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668
Web: https://www.boot.com/

The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

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