NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
The Irish Naval Service vessel LÉ Niamh left Cork this weekend for the Mediterranean where she will take over the migrant rescue role already being undertaken in that area by the LÉ Eithne.
Since being deployed to the Mediterranean as part of a strengthened EU search and rescue response the Irish Naval service has rescued almost 3,500 migrants.
Last week Ireland’s Defence Minister, Simon Coveney, visited the Mediterranean and spoke to the crew of the LÉ Eithne;
He said: “The recent rescue operations undertaken by the Irish Naval vessel and her crew to date have impacted significantly on the lives of so many people. Up to 30 June 2015, you have rescued 3,376 migrants in 22 rescue missions”.
Adding: “The work of our Naval Service in the Mediterranean is invaluable. The Naval Service will remain in the Mediterranean undertaking humanitarian search and rescue activity. L.É. Niamh will replace L.É. Eithne over the next week or so. Ireland’s focus will remain on continuing to assist the Italian authorities in the humanitarian search and rescue operation efforts to prevent further tragedy and loss of life at sea.”
The Celtic League was one of the first UN NGOs to respond to calls by the International Organisation for Migration when the EU unilaterally scaled down SAR operations late last year. We urged the International Maritime Organisation to take immediate action and to its credit it did so.
However calls for action would be meaningless without the commitment of governments of significant rescue assets. In this regard Ireland has not been found wanting.
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J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues