• September 9, 2015


The MOD and associated Ministries weave a web of intrigue round the submarine operations of the Royal Navy and NATO allies and that makes this weeks admission over the snagging of the N Irish vessel, MFV Karen, all the surprising.

When the Celtic League campaigned over twenty five years ago on this issue we had no more relentless parliamentary friends then George Foulkes MP (now Lord Foulkes) at Westminster and Hugh Byrne TD, in the Dail. Both doggedly persisted in seeking answers to mysterious sinking’s but few answers were forthcoming

We catalogued the incidents and George Foulkes and Hugh Byrne asked the questions but always the brick wall of officialdom refused to yield. Byrne’s actions in Ireland eventually led to the Irish government pressing the IMO to introduce Resolution A599 later superseded by A709 (17).

In 1991 Foulkes pressed the Secretary of State for Transport (Patrick McLoughlin) in relation to the losses of the fishing vessels in the previous decade;

(a) Girl Fiona,
(b) Inspire,
(c) Alert II,
(d) Boy Shaun,
(e) Sylvia Marita,
(f) Jake II,
(g) Tarradale II,
(h) Pearl,
(i) Mhari L
(j) South Stack

He was told by Mclouglin that prior to 1989 there was no requirement before that date for publication of an MAIB report.

The losses – many suspicious – had resulted in well over 20 deaths and if you factored in other deaths on for example the Cite D’Aleth and La Jonque (Breton trawlers) and the Belgian Tilj Uilenspiegal, the death toll climbed to above 50.

McLouglin was a bit more forthcoming (if unapologetic) about the number of Submarine – MFV incidents reported confirming a staggering 18 incidents in two years (one of these was the Antares on which four men died).

During the period between 1980 and the min 1990s there were a number of sinking’s and damage to MFVs which were in collision with submarines.

In 1982 the MFV Sheralga (from Ireland) was sunk by the British submarine HMS Porpoise in the Irish Sea.

In November 1990 the MFV Antares from Scotland was sunk by the British submarine HMS Trenchant (all hands on board died) in the Clyde.

In 1988 the Yacht Dalraida was in collision with HMS Conqueror in the North Channel.

In 1989 the MFV Scotia was snagged by HMS Sceptre near the Isle of Lewis

In addition in the 1980s at least two MFVs (one from N. Ireland and another from the Isle of Man) were snagged and towed for some time by USN nuclear submarines.

There were many more unresolved losses of MFVs in good weather conditions in areas around the British Isles used for dived submarine operations and within which submarines of all the powers the Celtic League recently contacted were known to operate.

This was a ‘clear and present’ threat to fishermen throughout the Cold War it did abate somewhat after 1995 but in the past decade with heightened tensions once again between NATO and the Russian Federation the threat is back.


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


Yahoo! Groups

About Author


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Celtic League
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x