The Irish government has approved a proposal from the Minister of Defence for the deployment of an Irish Naval vessel to the humanitarian search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean Sea.
While subject to finalisation of operational arrangements, the decision calls on sending one ship with a crew comprising approximately sixty (60) to EUNAVFOR’s Op Sophia.
According to the Irish defence forces, two rotations, involving three naval service vessels deployed, are planed. Each deployment would last approximately 12 weeks.
The first vessel to deploy will be the P51 L.É. Róisín.
LÉ RÓISÍN (P51) is a first-of-class offshore patrol vessel. It is one of the youngest ships in service in the Naval Service fleet, and is named after Róisín Dubh the embodiment of Ireland in the Irish poetic tradition.
Following a government decision in May 2015, the Irish naval vessel, L.É. Eithne, was deployed to the Mediterranean on May 16 2015 to assist the Italian authorities with the migrant crisis. Two further vessels were deployed subsequently – L.É. Niamh and L.É. Samuel Beckett.
The Irish Naval Service deployment was completed at the end of November 2015.