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Displaying items by tag: Avoid 'Aisling' repeat

Officials at the Department of Defence, reports The Irish Times, advised that the former flagship of the Naval Service be scrapped amid fears of repeating the “LÉ Aisling situation”, as the ex-Naval Service vessel had eventually ended up in the hands of a Libyan warlord.

The flagship designed as a helicopter patrol vessel (HPV) LÉ Eithne which was decommissioned in 2022, is the last Irish naval vessel to be built in Ireland. In addition Afloat highlights the HPV is also historically significant, given it is the final ship ever to be constructed in the Republic.

In an internal briefing of Defence documents on the fate of the former flagship, drawn up for the Tánaiste and Minister for Defence Micheál Martin, it had shown officials had argued against its sale at auction. This was in light of what had transpired with the final ‘Emer’ class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) LÉ Aisling, warning it was “entirely possible” such a scenario could reoccur.

In March, 2017, the LÉ Aisling was sold by public auction for €110,000 to a Dutch shipbroker as their Avenhorn and towed to Rotterdam. A year later the OPV was resold to a company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for €473,000, which in turn was almost immediately acquired by a company in Libya for €1.3 million.

The former OPV renamed again as Al Karama was however refitted with weapons as Afloat previously reported, having been completely stripped of its weapons prior to being sold by Ireland, was became subject of a report by the United Nations Panel of Experts on Libya. The report found that the 65m vessel had been disposed to a Libyan “warlord”, Khalifa Haftar. This marked a breach of a UN arms embargo by the UAE company.

Once the new role of the former Irish OPV was known and reported, the Department of Defence argued it had no “trailing obligations” in its relationship with the former Naval Service ship, and that the resale of the vessel was a matter for its purchaser.

More from the newspaper here on the LÉ Eithne which had a crew of 86 (9 officers and 77 ratings). 

Published in Navy

About The Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe

Created in 1978 by Michel Etevenon, La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe is regarded as the queen of solo transatlantic races.

For 44 years, the race has joined Saint-Malo in Brittany to Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe. It musters the biggest fleet ocean racing fleet of all levels on the same starting line. This transatlantic course at a total distance of 3,542 miles has become legendary as its unique magic is all about the range of different classes and the mix of competitors.

Some of the best solo racers in the world of sailing, professionals and amateurs, meet every four years to taste "the magic of the Rhum".

On November 6 2022, this legendary race will set off once again, taking on the Atlantic whilst appealing to a broad mass of public fans and followers. They are offered the chance to dream, to escape and share the wonder with the solo racers who are all ready to go to sea and challenge the Autumn Atlantic.

At A Glance - Route du Rhum 2022 start date

La Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe 2022 starts on November 6 off Saint-Malo, France

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