Friday 17 July - Return of LÉ EITHNE ​and The Arrival of the LÉ James Joyce to Haulbowline.

Minister of Defence Mr Simon Coveney T.D. accompanied by ​Major General Kieran Brennan, Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations)​ of the Defence Forces and ​Commodore Hugh Tully​, ​The​ ​Flag Officer Commanding the​ Naval ​Service​, will meet the crew of the L.É. EITHNE on Friday 17 July at 11 a.m. as the Flagship of the Naval Service ​returns​ ​from​ humanitarian and search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

Commanded by Commander Pearse O'Donnell, the 68 sailors of the LÉ EITHNE, augmented by 2 medics from the Army Medical Corps, deployed on the 16th of May to the Meditteranean where they successfully rescued 3376 persons over 22 operations in cooperation with the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre.

The​ LÉ ​NIAMH, has replaced the LÉ Eithne in the Mediterranean and​ ​​will ​continue to ​provide ​a​ssistance to persons in distress at sea in accordance with the provisions of international conventions governing search and rescue situations.

​​The arrival of the newest Naval Service Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) LÉ James Joyce will also take place on Friday 17th July in Haulbowline. The vessel will pull alongside at 11.45 a.m adjacent to the LÉ Eithne.

The LÉ James Joyce, was handed over to the Irish Naval Service (INS) at Babcock’s Appledore shipyard in North Devon where the ship was built. The commissioning ceremony for the LE James Joyce is yet to be announced.

Like the LÉ Samuel Becket delivered last year, LÉ James Joyce will undertake a range of duties including fishery protection, ​drug interdiction, ​search and rescue, anti-pollution and maritime security duties.​ ​The 90 metre, 2256 tonne OPV has autonomous engine rooms and is capable of a top speed of 23 knots and a range of 6,000 nautical miles at its cruise speed of 15 knots on a single engine.

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Press Release Date: Friday 17 July 2015

For Further Information contact:

Press Officer: Comdt. Seán Ó Fátharta

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