• May 27, 2017

The Irish Naval Service is deploying vessels to assist the migrant humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean for the third year in a row.
The L.É. Eithne which coincidentally was the first vessel from the Naval service deployed in 2015 will reccomence rescue work shortly. The Irish Department of Defence said in a statement issued yesterday:
“Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe T.D., was in the Naval Base, Haulbowline this morning to meet the Captain and crew of L.É. Eithne before their departure for the Mediterranean to assist the Italian authorities in search and rescue activities in the Mediterranean.
During his meeting with the crew, the Minister said “I want to wish Commander Brian Fitzgerald and each and every member of the crew of L.É. Eithne a safe and successful mission. You are travelling to the Mediterranean with the best wishes of the nation. ”
The Minister further commented “The humanitarian crisis arising as a result of the loss of lives in the Mediterranean continues to be of great concern to Ireland and to our EU partners. I believe that we should continue to support Italy in a practical manner as far as possible and the Italian authorities have welcomed this support”.
L.É. Eithne was the first Irish Naval vessel deployed to respond to the crisis in 2015, followed by L.É. Niamh and L.É. Samuel Beckett. Three further Irish Naval vessels were deployed to the Mediterranean during 2016 to assist the Italian Authorities, L.É. Róisín, L.É. James Joyce and L.É. Samuel Beckett. Over 15,600 migrants have been rescued by Irish Naval vessels to date.2
Full text here:
The Celtic League were one of a small number of UN NGOs who pressed the EU and the IMO for action to assist migrants after initial EU search and rescue cover was withdrawn in 2014 (links):
Image: L.É. Eithne rescuing migrants in June 2015
pp Celtic League.

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