Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Naval Visits
Boeing Poseidon P-8, a UK maritime patrol aircraft
France, Britain and Norway sent military aircraft to the west Irish coast to search for a Russian submarine last week. As The Sunday Times reports, the aircraft included a French Bréguet 1150 Atlantic plane which flew off the Clare coast,…
One of the Naval Service's larger ships, possibly the OPV80 P50 class LÉ Niamh, could be back on patrol duties within the next few weeks. Afloat understands the LE Niamh (P52) has been in refit for more than a year, with the vessel berthed alongside Cork Dockyard.
Since the start of the year, the Naval Service, which was only able to have in operation a single patrol ship within Irish waters, could have two more vessels made available within a matter of weeks. Due to a combination…
Sandown class mine-hunter HMS Penzance (M106) named after the seaside town of Penzance in Cornwall, England, is the fourth vessel to bear the name, is visiting Dublin Port this weekend. The mine-hunter is seen on 9 November at Oban, west Scotland from where it departed.
A Sandown-class minehunter of the UK’s Royal Navy, HMS Penzance (M1O6) which departed Oban in west Scotland is on a visit to Dublin Port having arrived this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore. During the week the 500 displacement tonnes HMS Penzance…
NATO nation members from the Dutch and Polish navies arrived to Dublin Port today as the HNLMS Zierikzee (M862) and ORP Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki (511) berthed as above close to the Tom Clark (East-Link) Toll Bridge. The mine-countermeasure and logistical supplies support vessels will remain in the capital over the weekend, while currently operating off Scotland is ‘Exercise Joint Warrior’ involving NATO and partner nations’.
NATO naval vessels visiting Dublin Port from two participating EU member states arrived today and will remain in the capital for crew rest and recreation until the Bank Holiday Monday, writes Jehan Ashmore. At dawn two vessels from the navies…
USS Mesa Verde is currently on a courtesy call to the capital to coincide with tomorrow, Saturday’s American college football match between the Navy Midshipmen and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
A naval visitor arrived to Dublin Port this afternoon as the USS Mesa Verde is on a courtesy call to the capital to coincide with an American football match classic which is to be held tomorrow, Saturday. The United States…
Classified as an offshore supply ship is the US naval vessel, Virginia Ann, the 3,518 gross tonnage vessel is understood to be capable of advanced subsurface operations such as deployment of deep-sea divers. Afloat’s photo of Virginia Ann at Rushbrooke, Cork Harbour, was taken just over a week before the vessel departed for waters off the south-west coast.  Also alongside Rushbrooke that day, the Naval Service tied-up offshore patrol vessel, LÉ Roisin and decommissioned Coastal Patrol Vessel twins LÉ Orla and LÉ Ciara.
A US naval ship, Virginia Ann which has been conducting operations in Irish territorial seas for the past four months with its Automatic Identification System (AIS) transmitter turned off is causing concern among Irish defence officials. The advanced offshore supply…
LÉ William Butler Yeats
The Social Democrats have said that the proposed deployment of a Naval Service vessel to the Mediterranean as part of an EU mission must prioritise assisting persons in distress at sea. Social Democrats defence spokesman Gary Gannon is seeking support…
A French Navy specialist support ship Garonne is on a visit to Dublin Port having made a call to Cork City quays less than a month ago. The 55m vessel is seen above when on a visit to the UK at the Royal Navy’s main base in Portsmouth.
A French Navy vessel is making its second visit to an Irish port within weeks as a 'Loire' class specialist support ship has arrived into Dublin Port this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore. As Afloat reported last month the Garonne (A605)…
A French Navy ship FNS Garonne is nearing the end of a visit to Cork City Quays. The offshore specialist support ship is the newest of the four ‘Loire’-class with the leadship namesake (above) underway in the Mediterranean Sea.
Cork City Quays is where a French Navy ship is berthed having arrived from a naval base in Brest, Brittany to the Munster city for an extended weekend port of call, writes Jehan Ashmore After a voyage of two days in…
The first foreign naval ship to visit Ireland this year involved the UK Royal Navy minehunter HMS Brocklesby which this morning arrived to Dublin Port where the vessel will remain until Monday.
HMS Brocklesby became the first foreign naval ship to visit Ireland this year with an arrival in Dublin Port this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore. The visit of the UK Royal Navy minehunter in the Irish capital also takes place during…
Russian vessel 545
The Naval Service and Air Corps say they have observed north America, Russian and French vessels both inside and outside Ireland's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) over the past week. These observations include two Russian warships within the Irish EEZ and…
Former Defence Forces chief of staff Mark Mellett
The Russian military exercises which had been due to take place within Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone ( EEZ) raise some serious questions, according to former Defence Forces chief of staff Mark Mellett. Mellett believes the Russian Federation’s original plan was…
Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius said that “Irish fishermen got their diplomatic game on! “
The EU’s fisheries commissioner has paid tribute to Irish fishermen for their role in shifting the location of Russian military exercises outside the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ). In a tweet, Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius said that “Irish fishermen got their…
Map showing the area (in red) where Russia plans to conduct military manoeuvres from next week
Two fishing industry organisations have sought to clarify what they describe as “confusion” in some media outlets over their talks with Russian ambassador Yuriy Filatov on the forthcoming Russian military exercises off the south-west Irish coast. Irish South and West…
The Russian “spy ship”, the Yantor, which turned up off the Donegal coast last August.
The Russian Embassy in Ireland has described as “constructive” and “positive” the outcome of discussions with two Irish fishing industry organisations in relation to proposed Russian military exercises next week in the Porcupine Seabight off the south-west Irish coast. Irish…
Russian Ambassador Yuriy Filatov
Irish fishermen planning a peaceful protest over Russian naval exercises off the south-west Irish coast have been invited to talks by the Russian Ambassador to Ireland. Ambassador Yuriy Filatov asked members of the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation…

Naval Visits focuses on forthcoming courtesy visits by foreign navies from our nearest neighbours, to navies from European Union and perhaps even those navies from far-flung distant shores.

In covering these Naval Visits, the range of nationality arising from these vessels can also be broad in terms of the variety of ships docking in our ports.

The list of naval ship types is long and they perform many tasks. These naval ships can include coastal patrol vessels, mine-sweepers, mine-hunters, frigates, destroyers, amphibious dock-landing vessels, helicopter-carriers, submarine support ships and the rarer sighting of submarines.

When Naval Visits are made, it is those that are open to the public to come on board, provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate up close and personal, what these look like and what they can do and a chance to discuss with the crew.

It can make even more interesting for visitors when a flotilla arrives, particularly comprising an international fleet, adding to the sense of curiosity and adding a greater mix to the type of vessels boarded.

All of this makes Naval Visits a fascinating and intriguing insight into the role of navies from abroad, as they spend time in our ports, mostly for a weekend-long call, having completed exercises at sea.

These naval exercises can involve joint co-operation between other naval fleets off Ireland, in the approaches of the Atlantic, and way offshore of the coasts of western European countries.

In certain circumstances, Naval Visits involve vessels which are making repositioning voyages over long distances between continents, having completed a tour of duty in zones of conflict.

Joint naval fleet exercises bring an increased integration of navies within Europe and beyond. These exercises improve greater co-operation at EU level but also internationally, not just on a political front, but these exercises enable shared training skills in carrying out naval skills and also knowledge.

Naval Visits are also reciprocal, in that the Irish Naval Service, has over the decades, visited major gatherings overseas, while also carrying out specific operations on many fronts.

Ireland can, therefore, be represented through these ships that also act as floating ambassadorial platforms, supporting our national interests.

These interests are not exclusively political in terms of foreign policy, through humanitarian commitments, but are also to assist existing trade and tourism links and also develop further.

Equally important is our relationship with the Irish diaspora, and to share this sense of identity with the rest of the World.