The Irish Independent has a report on a confrontation between a Royal Navy warship and an Irish trawler off Donegal. The report says the HMS Lancaster ordered the trawler (MFV Marliona) to leave the area west if Tory Island. The warship was about to commence an exercise with a submarine. The Irish Air Corps sent a Casa 235 maritime patrol aircraft to the areas and two vessels of the Irish Naval Service were also involved. The area off Donegal has been noted for the activity of NATO submarines in the past operating within the Irish economic zone:
The Irish Fishery authorities are not commenting on the incident but Donegal fisherman’s body The Killybegs Fisheries Organisation says the incident was ‘a breach of Irish sovereignty’.
Celtic League have suggested that post Brexit there may be disputes over fishing grounds particularly in already disputed areas. However this incident seems to be linked to the fact the UK declares vast areas of sea as military exercise areas and this time it seems they made an incursion into the territorial sea area of Ireland.
The Department of Defence in Dublin recently ordered a number of new Casa 295 maritime recce aircraft to replace the smaller Casa 235 currently operated.
Image: HMS Lancaster – Inset Casa 235 of the Irish Air Corps
Assistant General Secretary Celtic League (26th July 2020)