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Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, T.D.

Welcomes the return of the L.. Eithne and the arrival of L.. James Joyce to Cork

Friday 17th July 2015


After a successful 9 week deployment to assist in the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean, the Irish Naval vessel L.. Eithne returned today (Friday) to the Naval Base and Dockyard, Haulbowline in Cork where they were met by crowds of cheering families and friends.

A total of 3,377 people have been rescued by L.. Eithne from the waters between Libya and Sicily as part of the humanitarian operation to rescue migrants fleeing North Africa, codenamed Operation Pontus.

The Minister for Defence said “I am delighted to welcome home L.. Eithne and her crew from their service with the humanitarian operation in the Mediterranean under the leadership of Commander Pearse O’Donnell”. The Minister went on to say, “the crew of L.. Eithne have performed superbly throughout the deployment and have projected a positive image for our Navy and our country during their time in the Mediterranean".

The crew stepped up and exceeded expectations during this challenging deployment and I know that would not have been possible without the enormous support of their families and friends back home"

The Minister added “I wish to express my appreciation and that of the Government for the excellent and courageous service you gave during your deployment to the Mediterranean”.

The Naval Service’s newest ship L James Joyce underwent final successful Sea Trials in the UK on Wednesday 15th July 2015.

This ship is the second in a three ship programme being built by Babcock Marine in Appledore, Devon for the Irish Naval Service (Overall cost €200m approx.). L Samuel Beckett was commissioned into the Naval Service in May 2014.

L James Joyce has arrived back to the Naval Base, Haulbowline last night(16th July 2015). The ship is captained by Lt Cdr Brian Dempsey a native of Clontarf, Dublin.

Commenting in the impending arrival the Minister stated “I would like to commend the commitment of all concerned in ensuring the delivery of this high quality ship which will serve the country over the next thirty years.”

The ship will be formally named and commissioned into the Naval Service at a later date. Further information will be issued nearer that time.

Work is well underway in Appledore on the build of the 3rd ship which is due for delivery in July 2016.

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