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New Naval Service ship to be called LÉ William Butler Yeats

The Minister for Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D., has announced that the 3rd new ship for the Naval Service is to be called LÉ William Butler Yeats. The ship is scheduled for delivery in July 2016 and will be the same build as LÉ Samuel Beckett delivered in 2014 and LÉ James Joyce, which arrived in the Naval Base, Haulbowline last Friday.

Minister Coveney said that the naming of the ship after William Butler Yeats, a world renowned Irish poet, literary figure and Nobel Laureate,” will continue to facilitate greater recognition of our Naval Service ships when visiting foreign ports and set a tone domestically reflecting a more modern Ireland and Irish Naval Service”.

The Minister added that” it is very appropriate to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of W.B. Yeats by making this announcement today in Lissadell House. The naming continues a strong link between W.B. Yeats and Irish Naval Service as the first foreign mission by an Irish Naval Service ship, LÉ Macha, in 1948 was to repatriate the poet’s remains to Ireland following his passing in France.

The ship will be formally named and commissioned in Ireland after its delivery to Ireland next year.


Issued by Press Office, Department of Defence
Mobile: 087 2340397

Note for Editors

The current Naval Service Ships Replacement Programme involves the build and delivery of three identical ships.

Following a tender competition, a contract was placed in October 2010 with Babcock Marine, UK, for the provision of two new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Naval Service with the option of a third OPV.

The first of the two ships LÉ Samuel Beckett was handed over at the end of April 2014. LÉ Samuel Beckett replaced LÉ Emer which was decommissioned and sold in October 2013. The second ship which will be named LÉ James Joyce arrived in Haulbowline last Friday and will replace LÉ Aoife.

In June 2014, the Department of Defence exercised the option under the original contract to place an order for a third OPV which is scheduled for delivery in the middle of 2016. LÉ William Butler Yeats will replace LÉ Aisling.

The value of the contract including the main armament for the three ships is €213m approx. inclusive of VAT.

The acquisition of these modern new vessels, combined with a continuous process of refurbishment and repair, will ensure that the operational capability of the Naval Service is maintained.

The issue of further replacement of Naval Service ships will be a consideration in the forthcoming White Paper on Defence.

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