L.É. Eithne  P 31

L.É. EITHNE was built in Ireland as a Helicopter Patrol Vessel. The equipment fit was to a very high standard and included the Naval Services first operations room which integrated control of armament and aircraft to a designated centre, remote from the bridge.

Office Commanding the L.É. Eithne

Commander Pearse O’Donnell joined the Naval Service in 1979 and received his commission in 1981. He assumed command of LÉ EITHNE in August 2014. Previous to that, he fulfilled the role of Commander Fleet Operations and coordinated the NS Maritime Defence & Security Operations in Ireland’s maritime domain.

He has extensive sea going experience as a watch-keeper and several postings as a ship’s captain, previously commanding L.É. AOIFE and L.É. ROISÁN. He has also served overseas with the United Nations Observer Mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and in EUFOR Bosnia and Herzegovina .

He is a graduate of the Royal Naval College Dartmouth and the Irish Defence Forces Command & Staff College.

Significant History 

In the summer of 1986 L.É. EITHNE scored a notable first, by becoming the first Irish Naval Ship to cross the Atlantic, when she sailed to the United States, visiting Hamilton, New York and Boston. Since then L.É. EITHNE has crossed the Atlantic several times and crossed the equator in 2006 during her historic South American Deployment.

Ships Name

Many characters named Eithne exist in Irish Classical Literature. One was the daughter of the Fomorian King Balor. The name means ‘Sweet Kernel’ and she was renowned for her beauty.

Ships Charity

L.É. EITHNE is associated with  Our Lady’s for Sick Children, Crumlin.

Adopted Port

Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Ships Company

Mostly in their mid twenties, they come from all over Ireland.  They have a wide range of skills including Telegraphists, Engine Room Artificers, Cooks etc. A high proportion are technicians, but the age old skills of Seamanship are still required, irrespective of technological advances. 25% of the ship’s company are seamen. The ship itself is the ultimate in medium sized patrol vessels with a high degree of capability and comfort for Atlantic weather. She is an obvious choice for similar duties in any country, under any climatic condition. No doubt the Maritime Defence world will be interested in her progress.

Ships Information

Read about the Class Characteristics


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