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Naval Service to continue humanitarian mission in the Mediterranean
Wednesday 2nd September 2015


Today, the Government noted a report by the Minister for Defence, Mr Simon Coveney, T.D., on the deployment of Naval Service vessels to the Mediterranean, assisting the Italian authorities in humanitarian search and rescue operations.

The Government also noted the Minister’s decision to extend this contribution to the response to the migrant crisis for a further period from the end of September until 30 November 2015.

The L.E. Samuel Beckett will replace the L.. Niamh at the end of September and will deploy until 30 November 2015 dependent on the operational demands and requirements arising.

The Minister for Defence said “The success of the operations carried out to date by L.. Eithne and L.. Niamh involving recovering over 6,000 migrants demonstrates clearly the value of Ireland’s participation in this important humanitarian response”.

The Minister went on to say, “I believe that we should continue to support Italy in a practical manner as far as possible and the Italian authorities have indicated that ongoing support is welcome”.

The Minister added “While our role in the Mediterranean is making an impact in the short term in terms of saving lives, longer term solutions to address the migrant crisis are needed. I will be meeting my EU colleagues tomorrow at the Informal Ministerial meeting in Luxembourg to discuss a range of issues including progress of the EU military mission in the Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED). The Minister concluded that " A comprehensive approach is required to address this complex crisis with a view to developing longer term solutions ”.

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