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Return of LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63) from deployment on EUNAVFOR MED Operation Irini

This morning (Sunday 30 July 2023) the L.É. William Butler Yeats and her crew returned to the Naval Base, Haulbowline, Co. Cork after a 6-week deployment on EUNAVFOR MED Operation Irini in the Mediterranean Sea.

L.É. William Butler Yeats was captained by Lieutenant Commander Alan Flynn and deployed as the Irish contribution to EUNAVFOR MED Operation Irini on Thursday 15th June.

Crew Details:

Crew of 57 onboard (52 male, 5 female)

A number of the crew were involved in previous deployments (Op PONTUS and Op SOPHIA) however for the majority of the crew this was their first overseas deployment.

The ship was tasked with Information, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations as well as Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) Operations during the 6-week deployment.

Primary Roles of Operation IRINI:

1.   Prevention of arms trafficking in the Area of Operations in accordance with UNSCR 1970 (2011) and subsequent resolutions on the arms embargo on Libya, including UNSCR 2292 (2016) and UNSCR 2473 (2019).

2.   Contributing to the implementation of UN Measures to prevent illicit export of petroleum from Libya in accordance with UNSCR 216 (2014) and subsequent resolutions, notably UNSCR 2509 (2020).

The Naval Service has developed significant experience through engagement with previous missions namely OP PONTUS (2015-2017) and ENFM OP SOPHIA (2018).

The ship returned to base and the crew were reunited with their proud families and received their Irish peacekeeping medals. 




Notes to Editors

Bio - Lieutenant Commander Alan Flynn

Lt/Cdr Flynn is a native of Tuam Co. Galway and a graduate of St. Jarlath’s College. He joined the Navy in 2001 as a recruit and subsequently joined the 42nd Naval Cadet Class in 2002. He was Commissioned as an Ensign in 2004. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Nautical Science at the National Maritime College of Ireland, Cork and joined the Fleet as Gunnery Officer L.E. ROISIN in 2009.

Since then Alan has completed a number of rotations at sea, the most recent being his appointment as Executive Officer and 2I/C L.E. SAMUEL BECKETT. Before taking up Command of L.E. W.B.YEATS Alan held the position of Naval Service Assistant Provost Marshal and Officer in Charge Naval Service Military Police Section.

This deployment to the Mediterranean will be his third deployment to the region since 2015. In 2015 he served on board L.E. NIAMH as Search and Rescue Officer for OPERATION PONTUS and in 2018 he served on board L.E. SAMUEL BECKETT as Executive Officer and 2I/C for OPERATION SOPHIA.

Alan currently lives in Carrigaline, Co. Cork with his wife Donna and two young sons Tadhg (6) and Cillian (3).