Naval Service Marks 75 Years in Ireland’s Capital
Photos by John O’Byrne
75 years ago today – 1 September 1946 – the Irish Naval Service was formally established as an arm of the Irish Defence Forces (Óglaigh na hÉireann). The Naval Service is the Irish State’s principal seagoing agency with a general responsibility to meet contingent and actual maritime defence requirements. From the early days of the three lonely Flower-class corvettes – L.É. Cliona, Maev and Macha – the Irish Naval Service has evolved to a modern sophisticated national maritime defence and security agency with a responsibility for an area of some 141,000 square nautical miles.
Over its 75 years’ service, the Naval Service has carried out such duties as arms and drug interdiction, search and rescue, and fishery protection. Naval Service personnel have deployed on overseas missions with their Army and Air Corps counterparts, not to mention its recent deployment to the Mediterranean as part of the European Union humanitarian response to African migration.
To mark the 75th anniversary today, L.É. Samuel Beckett (P61) – led a ceremony at
Carlisle Pier in Dún Laoghaire. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney T.D., Óglaigh na hÉireann / Irish Defence Forces Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Alison Gilliland, and An Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Cllr Lettie McCarthy attended the ceremony receiving military honours from a Sub Lieutenants Guard of Honour (55 personnel all ranks) on Carlisle Pier. The L.É. Samuel Beckett then transited to Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin for the remainder of the ceremony. As the ship exited Dún Laoghaire harbour, she was honoured with an Artillery Gun Salute provided by Gunners from 2nd Brigade Artillery Regiment.
At Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, the P61 received a helicopter flypast by two Irish Air Corps helicopters before receiving salutes from the crews of L.É. George Bernard Shaw (P64), L.É. James Joyce (P62) and L.É. WB Yeats (P63).
Thank You Irish Naval Service For 75 Years of Outstanding Service
Thanks to John O’Byrne for the wonderful photos.