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Displaying items by tag: Multirole Vessel

The process to appoint a marine adviser to support the procurement of a new multirole vessel for the Naval Service is under way and “should be finalised within the coming weeks”.

That was the response from Minister of State Frank Feighan, on behalf of Defence Minister Simon Coveney, to a Commencement Matter from Senator Victor Boyhan on Monday (12 July) requesting an update on plans to acquire the new MRV, following reports that the tender process was no longer going ahead.

Senator Boyhan highlighted such a vessel’s importance in terms of Ireland’s fisheries protection capabilities, which were deemed “unsatisfactory” by a recent European Commission inquiry, according to The Irish Times.

Senator Victor BoyhanSenator Victor Boyhan

Serious staffing issues recently caused the Naval Service to rely on the assistance of an EU vessel in patrolling Ireland’s waters, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Addressing these matters, Senator Boyhan said: “I am asking that we have the necessary ships and specialist equipment, and the motivated staff to address issues around fisheries protection, which are critically important. We also need to find out where we are on this project. Is it on course as the draft tender documents set out?

“It is important infrastructure that is needed. It would give the Naval Service a boost and a sense that we are all on the one page. It is important that we have absolute clarity about where we are on this important project.”

On the point of the multirole vessel, which is intended to replace the flagship LÉ Eithne, Minister Feighan confirmed that “a joint civil-military project team has been appointed to manage this project. Work to date has focused on the pretender concept of operations stage and preparing a detailed specification of capability requirements for a tender competition.

“In addition, a competition is under way to appoint a marine adviser to support the procurement of a multirole vessel. This process should be finalised within the coming weeks.”

He added that a public tender competition would be held in due course to cover the supply of the multirole vessel “subject to availability of funding within the overall defence capital funding envelope”.

In response to issues around fisheries patrols, Minister Feighan said “the Minister [or Defence] is satisfied that the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority and Naval Service continue to actively engage with the Commission and EU partners on matters related to the Common Fisheries Policy.”

He added: “The Government acknowledges the challenges in the Naval Service in terms of recruitment and retention and the impact this has on planned fishery protection patrol days at present. The minister’s focus is on returning the Naval Service to its full capacity.”

The full debate is available to read on KildareStreet.com

Published in Navy
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