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Today, An Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Mr. Enda Kenny, T.D. attended the naming and commissioning ceremonies for the new Naval Service ship, LÉ Samuel Beckett beside the Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin city centre. The naming ceremony was carried out by a niece of Samuel Beckett, Mrs. Caroline Murphy.

In his address, An Taoiseach said that “It is a great pleasure for me as Taoiseach and Minister for Defence to welcome the new ship as it commences what I am sure will be a long and industrious career in service with the Defence Forces”.

He commended everyone involved in the build project of the ship. He particularly thanked the main contractor Babcock Marine Appledore, part of the Babcock International Group in the United Kingdom, members of the Naval Service and the Department of Defence and everyone who played a part leading to the arrival of this very impressive Naval Service vessel into Dublin today.
An Taoiseach also said that “The naming and commissioning carried with it a great sense of pride and anticipation for all Naval Service personnel. LÉ Samuel Beckett will be a tremendous asset to the Naval Service. I know that the ship’s first captain, Commander Ken Minehane and his crew are eagerly looking forward to working up the new ship to its full potential”.

Commenting on the role of the Naval Service he added “the Naval Service presents a wide range of challenging roles to all of its personnel, now more than ever before. Naval Service ships assert the integrity of our territorial waters; they protect both the waters of the country and the European Union. The continuing success of the Naval Service in fulfilling the roles of fishery protection, marine search & rescue and its many other tasks has resulted in a much more widespread public appreciation of the importance of the Naval Service to the entire community. The Naval Service’s capacity to continue to serve has been significantly enhanced by LÉ Samuel Beckett entering operational service”.

Mr. Kenny finished by extending his very best wishes and that of the Government to the Captain and crew of LÉ Samuel Beckett.


Note for the Editors

Following a tender competition, a contract was signed in October 2010, with Babcock Marine, part of the Babcock International Group, in the United Kingdom for the provision of two new offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Naval Service to be built in Appledore, Devon, United Kingdom (same shipyard where both LÉ Roisin and LÉ. Niamh were built over a decade ago).

The new ships are larger vessels than LÉ Roisin and LÉ Niamh with a length of 89.5m.The cost of the two new ships is €108m, exclusive of VAT. This is a replacement programme – LÉ Samuel Beckett replaces LÉ Emer which was decommissioned and sold late last year. The ship will be used mainly for fishery protection patrols.

LÉ Samuel Beckett arrived home to the Naval Base, Haulbowline, Cork on Wednesday 30th April 2014. The ships first captain is Commander Ken Minehane from Bantry. The ship will have a main crew of 44.

Work on the second ship (LÉ James Joyce) is well advanced and it should be completed early in 2015. LÉ James Joyce will replace LÉ Aoife.

Brief Specification of the LE Samuel Beckett
Class of ShipOffshore Patrol Vessel
Length89.5 metres
Beam14 metres
Draft3.8 metres
Max Speed23 knots
Propulsion2 x Wartsila Diesel Engines, 2 shafts, 10000kw
Accommodation44 crew plus 10 trainees
Main Weapons1 x 76mm Oto Melara Compact Naval Gun

2 x 20mm RH 202 Rheinmetall Cannon

2 x 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun’s

4 x 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun’s

There will be an opportunity for the public to view the naming and commissioning ceremonies and it is planned the vessel will be open to the public in the afternoon of Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th May 2014.

For photographs please click on link below

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