60 Years Peacekeeping1958 - 2018

This year marks the 60th Anniversary of Ireland's first Peacekeeping deployment in 1958.

Since then, Ireland have maintained the longest unbroken service on the front line of peace with over 70,000 individual tours of duty completed by the men and women of Óglaigh na hÉireann.

This year, we remember the 87 members of the Defence Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of Peace.

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22 June 2015 - ​LÉ EITHNE Rescues 519 Migrants off North Tripoli.

The LÉ EITHNE successfully located and rescued a total of 519 migrants off three separate vessels, 50 Nautical Miles north-west of Tripoli, the Libyan capital today.

The LÉ EITHNE successfully located and rescued 104 migrants on an inflatable craft, 50 Nautical Miles north-west of Tripoli, in the early hours of this morning. Conditions at the time were good with the operation commencing at 5.16 am, all migrants on board by 6.31 am.

Immediately following the first rescue the LÉ EITHNE was re-tasked to assist with the rescue of a further 362 migrants on a barge, 50 Nautical Miles north-west of Tripoli. The rescue commenced at 7.18 am and all migrants on board by 10.16 am.

The LÉ EITHNE was then re-tasked with a third rescue of a further 53 migrants on a small fibreglass boat. The rescue commenced at 11 am and all migrants were on board by 12.40 pm.

There are now approximately 519* rescuees on board; 401 males, 98 females and 20 minors.

The LÉ EITHNE is awaiting direction from the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre for next tasking.

The LÉ EITHNE departed on the 16th of May from Naval Service Headquarters in Haulbowline, Cork 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.

View images of today's operation on our Flickr Channel

Press Release Date:  22 June 2015

For Further Information contact:

Press Officer: Comdt. Seán Ó Fátharta

Tel: 045 49 2502 , 045 49 2503

Mobile : 087 2482130

E-mail: Press Officer

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