Displaying items by tag: naval service
The sun shone at its best for Royal Cork's Unveiling of a Commemorative Plaque at the Naval Base in Haulbowline in Cork Harbour last Friday writes Claire Bateman. The Naval Base was resplendent and also at its best. From driving over the newly reconstructed bridge following the cars of other guests arriving there was a feeling all round something important was about to take place. From the cheery greeting of the security personnel to the welcoming cup of tea or coffee at the Officers Mess the atmosphere was filled with bonhomie and anticipation.
This was the day of the eagerly awaited official unveiing of the newly refurbished plaque commerating the location of the Club’s first clubhouse in 1720 at Haulbowline Island. While enjoying the refreshments, the buzz of conversation and meeting with the club representatives and friends was creating a remarkable atmosphere for what was to be a remarkable occasion and coupled with the Naval Personnel resplendent in their immaculate uniforms and the Royal Cork representatives in their formal club attire made for an elegant gathering to mark the occasion.
L. to R. Captain Michael Malone, Cdr. William Roberts and Lt. Jason O’Brien. Photo Robert Bateman
The occasion was marked by the presence of the highest ranking Naval Service Officer in Ireland, Rear Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, soon to be Admiral and Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces. On arrival the guests were welcomed by Commodore Hugh Tully of the Naval Service and then it was time for the arrival of the Minister for Agriculture, Food, The Marine and Defence, Simon Coveney T.D. The Minister ‘of course’ is also a popular member of the Royal Cork Yacht Club.
Minister Coveney addressing the attendance. Photo Robert Bateman
The formal part of the proceedings then commenced with an address by Commodore Hugh Tully who invited the Minister to perform the ceremony of the unveiling of the commemorative plaque. The Minister gave a most interesting account of the entire history of the Royal Cork to date from sailing in Cork Harbour in the 1600s to the formation of the Water Club of the Harbour of Corke in 1720. His speech then ranged to developments in the harbour some of which have already taken place with more in the pipeline involving a total spend of half a billion euro for the area. Here one has to say the Minister has pushed relentlessly for the betterment of the harbour and its surrounds and is to be highly commended for this. The Minister then unveiled the commemorative plaque that was originally commissioned by the late Bernie Cahill during his term as Admiral of the Royal Cork.
Royal Cup Admiral Pat Lyons. Photo Robert Bateman
The current Admiral of the Royal Cork, Pat Lyons, then spoke and referred to the excellent relationship enjoyed between the Naval Service and the Club. He also referred to the plans being made for the celebrations for the 300th anniversary of the yacht club with which the Naval Service will be very much involved and details of which will be revealed as time moves on towards 2020.
Former RCYC Admirals T.E.Crosbie and David O’Brien. Other former Admirals in attendance were Archie O’Leary, Bill Walsh, Tony O’Connor, Bill O’Mahony, Anthony O’Leary, Peter Crowley, Hugh Mockler and Paddy McGlade. Photo Robert Bateman
The official part of the proceedings concluded with a blessing from the Naval Chaplain, Fr. Des Campion, and the naval personnel and their guests then enjoyed a delightful lunch in the elegant surrounds of the Officers Mess and the celebration finished on a high note.
Naval Chaplain Fr. Des Campion. Photo Robert Bateman
It was a happy day, a proud day, and a day to get a glimpse of life inside the naval base and see what wonderful work they do. We read all about them and their difficult work in the far flung corners of the world and also patrolling our own shores. To enjoy their hospitality, cordiality and graciousness to their guests was indeed a delightful experience. We, the Irish people have an awful lot to be proud of in our defence forces and a lot to thank them for as they are always there in times of need and never shirk from the often very arduous duties they carry out on our behalf.
Afloat's Claire Bateman with (left) Rear Admiral Mark Mellett and Neil Kenefick
#CadetClass- Simon Coveney, Minister for Defence, this morning attended a Naval Service Commissioning Ceremony of the 53rd Naval Service Cadet Class.
The event took place at the Naval Base, in Haulbowline, Co. Cork, where the Minister offered his congratulations to the newly commissioned officers and remarked that “I offer my warmest congratulations to all of you for the commitment you are making to the State. Each one of you, together with your families and friends, can be justifiably proud of your achievement”.
Minister Coveney also paid tribute to the ongoing humanitarian work being carried out by the Naval Service in the Mediterranean “The actions of both the LÉ Eithne and LÉ Niamh have highlighted the capability and commitment that has always been the hallmark of Ireland’s Naval Service”.
The Minister said that the L.É. Samuel Beckett will be deployed to the Mediterranean from the end of September until the end of November this year and stated that “The people of Ireland can truly be proud of the marvellous work the Naval Service has done and is continuing to do and I wish them every continued success with their work”.
The responses off the Libyan coast – which included the rescue of 124 and 127 people respectively from inflatable craft, and saving 129 from a sinking dinghy – bring the LÉ Niamh's total rescued to 3,723.
That tops the number saved by sister ship the LÉ Eithne, which returned from its nine-week deployment in July.
#GhostYacht - The Naval Service recently sank a 'ghost yacht' off the Irish coast for safety reasons - much to the dismay of its owner.
As The Telegraph reports, German national Thomas Mallanut had travelled to Cornwall after he learned the yacht he'd abandoned off Bermuda almost a year ago, when his wife took seriously ill, was spotted between Ireland and the UK - some 2,700 away.
But yesterday he learned that Irish navy personnel had been ordered to sink the 26-foot yacht as it posed a hazard to shipping.
"He thought he would never see Troll again," said Truro man David Chidell, who had offered to help Mallanut locate his vessel. “It’s just a shame when Tom was told in August that the Irish Navy had spotted it he wasn’t subsequently informed they had decided to sink it.”
The Telegraph has more on the story HERE.
#EithneMalta - Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, T.D. earlier today met Naval Service personnel crew of the L.É. Eithne (P31) in Valetta, Malta.
The flagship under the command of her captain, Commander Pearse O'Donnell and his crew are continuing to undertake a key role in assisting the Italian authorities with the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.
The Minister is accompanied on his visit by Minister for Justice & Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, T.D. and Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North-South Co-operation, Sean Sherlock, T.D.
Minister Coveney said" The recent rescue operations undertaken by the Irish Naval vessel and her crew to date have impacted significantly on the lives of so many people. Up to 30 June 2015, you have rescued 3,376 migrants in 22 rescue missions".
The Minister added "The work of our Naval Service in the Mediterranean is invaluable. The Naval Service will remain in the Mediterranean undertaking humanitarian search and rescue activity. L.É. Niamh (P52) will replace L.É. Eithne over the next week or so." The Minister went on to say "Ireland's focus will remain on continuing to assist the Italian authorities in the humanitarian search and rescue operation efforts to prevent further tragedy and loss of life at sea."
Minister Fitzgerald said "I am delighted to have the opportunity to pay tribute to the exemplary professionalism of the crew of the LÉ Eithne in humanitarian search and rescue. We are proud of them and the work they are doing under the Irish flag".
Minister Fitzgerald went on to say "Migration is one of the biggest challenges facing the EU and there are no easy answers. However Ireland is committed to doing its part in solidarity with our fellow Europeans in tackling that crisis. The deployment of LÉ Eithne shows the real difference that Ireland, as a comparatively small Member State, can make and we will continue to do what we can when we can as the situation evolves".
Minister of State Seán Sherlock added "the heroic work of our Defence Forces in this exercise has been humbling."
"The displacement caused by protracted conflict has had a devastating impact on the families who have had to flee their homes and communities. Many of these very vulnerable people have fled war and persecution to seek refuge here in Europe. Ireland is making a significant contribution to addressing the root causes of displacement in countries of origin, notably through our humanitarian and development assistance in the Horn of Africa and other regions of Africa and the humanitarian support which we provide in Syria and the region."
Minister Coveney concluded "on behalf of myself and the Irish Government, I would like to thank you all for your outstanding work in the Mediterranean to date. I wish you every success for the future and a safe return to your families."
#NewChiefOFstaff - Rear Admiral Mark Mellett DSM writes The Irish Times has been nominated by Minister for Defence Simon Coveney for the appointment by the President as chief of staff of the Defence Forces.
Rear Admiral Mellett was appointed to the position of deputy chief of staff of the Defence Forces in November 2013.
From Co Mayo, he joined the Naval Service in 1976. His first command was the LÉ Orla in 1992, followed by the LÉ Ciara in 1997 and the flagship LÉ Eithne in 2005 (see related report today).
He will succeed the current chief of staff Lt Gen Conor O'Boyle when he retires in September this year.
Mr Coveney congratulated Rear Admiral Mellet on his new appointment and said that he is looking forward to working with him in the future.
Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) President Dr Brendan Murphy said - "We are delighted with to hear of the appointment of Rear Admiral Mark Mellett as Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces. CIT, since the foundation of the National Maritime College of Ireland ten years ago, has had a long and fruitful relationship with the Irish Naval Service and in particular with Rear Admiral Mellett is his role as Officer Commanding the Irish Naval Service. It has been a long and fruitful relationship particularly as Mark showed great strategic vision. He has been instrumental in the transformation of the Irish Naval Service to a knowledge based institution and the naval service now actively takes part in education and research, playing an important role in the economic development of the country as a whole. I, and CIT, wish him every success in his new role."
Conor Mowlds, Head of the National Marine College of Ireland said " I would like to echo Dr Murphy's words and to give my very best wishes Rear Admiral Mellett. His appointment will add strength to the voice of the growing Irish Maritime Community."
For further details of the career of the Rear Admiral, click here.
#EithneMedRescue – Naval Service 'flagship' LÉ Eithne (P31) successfully located and rescued 367 migrants on a wooden barge yesterday some 50kms north-west of Tripoli, the Libyan capital.
Almost the same number of migrants again on a barge were rescued earlier this month off the North African coast.
According to the Naval Service, conditions during this latest indicdent were choppy with the operation commencing at 7.25 am during a south easterly 1 metre high swell. All migrants were successfully taken on board by 10.09 am. On board the LÉ Eithne were 278 male, 80 female and 9 children where they received medical screening, food and water.
The LÉ Eithne next tasking will be under the direction of the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre.
A month ago today LÉ Eithne departed Cork Harbour on the 16th of May to assist the Italian Authorities in the humanitarian search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
The role of the Irish Naval vessel will be to provide a search and rescue capability and to undertake humanitarian rescue operations at sea in the Mediterranean.
Assistance to persons in distress at sea will be provided in accordance with the applicable provisions of international conventions governing search and rescue situations.
The Naval Service vessel will be deployed in the Mediterranean for a period of up to six months over the summer period, subject to the operational demands and requirements arising in the theatre of operations.
The records emerged from the Military Archives and is available online to coincide with the 150th anniversary on Saturday of the poet's birth.
The body of the poet, who died in January 1939 and was buried at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in south-eastern France, was brought by sea from Nice to Galway in September 1948 for reinterring in Drumcliffe Churchyard in Co Sligo. It was transported by the LE Macha, the first overseas deployment of a ship of the Naval Service.
The operation was overseen by the then minister for external affairs, Sean McBride, son of Maud Gonne-McBride, the subject of unrequited, but poetically inspiring, amour from the poet.
The rediscovered record of the repatriation includes just over 30 minutes of film - silent, grainy and mostly black and white footage of the Macha's mission; more than 80 black and white photographs; the ship's log; and five informal letters to the first head of the Naval Service, Captain HJ Jerome, from an officer on board the Macha, Commander Thomas McKenna, who in due course succeeded Capt Jerome to lead the service.
To this has been added a recording of the only surviving member of the crew, former Petty Officer Patrick Campbell, who is now aged 90 but has a clear recollection of the mission.
"When we docked in Nice there was great excitement because it was the first Irish ship [there flying the] tricolour. We did get a good reception," Mr Campbell told a researcher at the Archive after his daughter, Antonette, contacted the Defence Forces earlier this year saying her father had a story to tell.
For much more, The Irish Times reports here.
#EithneMedRescue - LÉ Eithne (P31) the Navy Service flagship writes the Independent.ie, has rescued more than 500 men, women children and infants desperately attempting to cross the Mediterranean this weekend.
Yesterday morning the ship rescued 310 migrants from a barge floating in the Mediterranean 40km north of Libya.
Then at 5pm the LÉ Eithne located and rescued migrants on two inflatable craft -this time with 89 persons on board - some 75 kilometres north of Libya. Conditions at the time were good and the operation took two hours.
There are now 399 rescuees on board the Irish ship who owe their lives to the skilled Irish naval services. They number 280 men, 78 women and 41 children in total and will be transferred to other vessels to bring them safely to shore.
On Friday, the LÉ Eithne rescued another 113 migrants adrift on a rubber inflatable dinghy north of Tripoli. They were all given food and water once they were safely on board and then transported to shore.
The LÉ Eithne has now saved more than 1,000 people since it left Cork three weeks ago on May 16 (as previously reported on Afloat.ie)- sailing to assist the Italian authorities in the ongoing search- and-rescue mission in the southern Mediterranean waters.
For more on the story click here.
#SixServiceFleet - The deployment of LÉ Eithne (P31) on a humanitarian mission to the Med, the fate of 'Aoife' and delays of newbuild OPV James Joyce, sees the Naval Service fleet reduced to 6 patrol vessels operating within Irish waters, writes Jehan Ashmore.
In recent years the Naval Service had a 8-strong fleet with the inclusion of LÉ Emer (P21) and sister LÉ Aoife (P22), however the former Offshore Patrol Vessel was sold overseas to Nigerian interests in 2013. This year the 'Emer' was transferred to the west African state's navy.
The 'flagship' LÉ Eithne commissioned as a Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV) made a transit of the Strait of Gibraltar this Tuesday heading for an Italian base port, yet the issue surrounding the decommissioned Aoife remains unresolved. This followed an Irish Government proposal to 'donate' the OPV to Malta but rebuffed by certain quarters of the island state's military as to her unsuitability in migrant SAR duties.
Afloat.ie has asked the Department of Defence for an update which responded with the same reply as previously reported (see report Aoife's almost full-circle role) in that the 'Department are in discussions with the Maltese authorities in relation to the modalities to be agreed in relation to the transfer of ownership of the decommissioned LÉ Aoife'.
As for the second newbuild Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) 90 class, James Joyce, she remains at the Babcock Marine & Technology Shipyard, Appledore in north Devon. As previously reported a month ago the newbuild had 'technical' issues following her first sea-trials that took place in March off Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel.
The Department however added that further trials of the James Joyce have since taken place.
It was also then reported last month that the €54m James Joyce would make her delivery voyage within weeks followed by a commissioning ceremony due this month. Whenever this ceremony takes place James Joyce will officially be designated with the ship's name prefix L.É. that means Long Éireannach or Irish Ship.
Currently the fleet that is in Irish waters comprises of a pair of 'Peacock' class coastal patrol vessels (CPV), three OPV's in the form of the sole remaining 'Emer' (modified Deirdre class) and a pair of 'Roisin' class OPV80s. The final unit is made of one Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) that been an enhanced version of the 'Roisin' class in the form of the 'Beckett' OPV90 class.
The Naval Service fleet of 7-strong patrol vessels are listed below.
HPV L.É. Eithne (P31) flagship (currently on overseas deployment)
CPV L.É. Orla (P41)
CPV L.É. Ciara (P42)
OPV L.É. Aisling (P23)
OPV L.É. Roisin (P51)
OPV L.É. Niamh (P52)
LPV L.É. Beckett (P61)
Each vessel is equipped with state of the art machinery, weapons, communication's and navigation systems.
In addition the Naval Service have on contract with Babcock Marine for a third and final sister of James Joyce which is due for delivery in 2016.