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Displaying items by tag: Navy

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.”

Published in Navy
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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.

Published in Navy
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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

“We are mission ready and interoperable with international Navies at home and overseas,” the Naval Service, which celebrated its 75th year of foundation this year, says in the Defence Forces ‘Year in Review’ annual report issued today.

It records a ‘first’ for the Service this year: “In April the Naval Service achieved NATO accreditation by completing the OCC self-evaluation. This was a first for the Service.”

The Navy arrested nine fishing boats during the year in 269 inspections. Irish, British, French, Spanish, Dutch, Norwegian, Russian, Belgian and boats from the Faroes were inspected.

The full Maritime section of the report describes Naval activities in detail:

75th Anniversary - The Naval Service celebrated 75 years from its foundation this year. Various events culminated in September with fleet exercises, a review by An Taoiseach and a parade of sail into Dublin and Cork. Naval vessels were escorted by the Air Corps and Irish Coastguard and were met in Cork by their colleagues in the emergency services.

Fisheries - So far this year, the Naval Service has conducted 269 fisheries boarding’s resulting in nine (9) detentions. The Naval Service patrols 220 million maritime acres of sea (over twelve times the land mass of Ireland) representing 15% of Europe’s fisheries. Fishing vessels from Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Belgium and The Faroes were boarded and inspected in 2021.

NSDS - The Naval Service Dive Section (NSDS) was deployed to 20 operations so far this year. Military Operations include underwater maintenance of the Naval Service Fleet, maintenance of Service Level Agreements with External Agencies, and berth surveys/clearances for visiting ships. The Naval Service Dive Section was involved in one (1) Search and Recovery operation following a request from the Coast Guard. One (1) deceased individual was recovered in the process of this search and returned to their loved ones.

Search and Rescue (SAR) - There have been eleven (11) separate SAR responses from the NS this year, a number of them attracting media attention.

Protests - During 2021 there were some civilian protests at Cork and Dublin sea ports. The Naval Service provided Rigid Inflatable Boats and personnel providing a safety role.

NATO Operational Capability Concept (OCC) - In April of this year the Naval service achieved NATO accreditation by completing the OCC self-evaluation. This was a first for the Naval Service and ensures we are mission ready and interoperable with international navies at home and overseas.

Naval Service Variant DPM - On the 1st of May Naval Service Personnel changed over from the GDR rig to our new Naval Service DPM uniform. This uniform was the result of years of research and combines breathability and comfort with increased fire and safety properties while promoting the Defence Forces brand.

L.E.P - L.É ROISIN completed her Life Extension Programme (LEP) in April bringing to a close a 25-month long project which ensures the continued availability of key Naval Assets. Following suit, L.É NIAMH has now entered her LEP which will continue into 2022.

MAOC-N Medal - In October Cdr Cathal Power was awarded the MAOC-N medal in recognition of the work by the Naval Service Operations and Intelligence Team in countering drug trafficking. The Naval Service in conjunction with our Joint Task Force colleagues were instrumental in providing intelligence that led to major seizures by MAOC-N partner agencies this year.

Published in Navy
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Remedial and strengthening works to the steel piles and concrete deck are underway at the Spencer Jetty at the Haulbowline Naval Base in Cork Harbour.

As Afloat reported last October, the upgrade at the Haulbowline Naval Base includes the construction of a raised turning area/parking zone and access ramp to the jetty.

The project provides for an investment of some €1.4m (excl VAT) to provide for the berthage needs at Haulbowline.

The plan is to stabilise the currently unusable Jetty structure and protect the sea entrance to the Naval Service Dockyard and Basin. The upgraded facility will also provide the Naval Service with an additional short term berth.

The project is part of the Plan to increase berthing capacity for the current fleet in three distinct standalone infrastructural projects, with the Spencer Jetty Upgrade delivered as Phase 1. All of these projects are included in the 5-year Infrastructure Development Plan.

When announced in October 2020, it was expected construction would take one year to complete.

Published in Cork Harbour

The Naval Ship LE Samuel Beckett, with Minister for Defence Simon Coveney on board, sailed through Dublin Port and the Tom Clarke Bridge to Sir John Rogerson’s Quay today accompanied by an Air Corps flyover as part of the Naval Service’s 75-year anniversary celebrations.

The vessel berthed alongside the James Joyce, William Butler Yates & George Bernard Shaw vessels which arrived on Monday.

This week’s manoeuvres saw the fleet converge on the capital, first with a Guard of Honour for Defence Minister Simon Coveney in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this morning at 9.15 am.

At 10 am, the LÉ Samuel Beckett departed Dun Laoghaire for the River Liffey in Dublin under a gun salute from the Army’s 2 Brigade Artillery Regiment.

On arrival in the city, the vessel took a salute from sister ships of the P60 class at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, where there was also be an Air Corps helicopter fly-past.

The fleet is open to the public on Wednesday.

Naval Service 75 Year Anniversary Celebrations at Dublin Port. Photo Gallery by Shane O’Neill

Published in Navy
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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