Naval Service 75th Anniversary Event
On Wednesday 1st September, the Minister for Defence celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Irish Naval Service in Dublin.
Minister Coveney was joined by the Lord Mayor of Dublin City, An Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoighre Rathdown County Council, the Chief of Staff, the Secretary General of the Department of Defence and the Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service in marking this important milestone for our Naval Service.
Beginning in Dún Laoighre Port with an Honour Guard inspection by the Minister and a gun salute to herald the anniversary, the Minister and accompanying party sailed from Dún Laoighre on-board the LÉ Samuel Beckett and arrived into Dublin Port at around noon.
On arrival in Dublin Port there was a fly-past by the Air Corps, and the Minister accepted the salute from the three Naval Ships already docked in Sir John Rogerson’s Quay. At 3pm, all four ships were opened to the public, in line with all Covid restrictions, as a ‘Meet the Fleet’ experience.
Speaking on the day, the Minister praised all of the Naval Service men and women past and present for their dedication and excellence, and their families for their commitment and support remarking that, “your dedication to service, to maritime security, to the marine environment and to each other, is evident in the professionalism and steadfastness with which you have undertaken your roles assigned by Government over these last 75 years”.
He also noted, “as the State’s principal seagoing agency with a general responsibility to meet contingent and actual maritime defence requirements you are tasked with a variety of defence and other roles, roles which you fulfil to the highest standard. I’m sure the various agencies you cooperate with would join me in thanking you for your ongoing service to the nation. Today, your role at the national level cannot be understated and looking forward, your potential should not be underestimated”.
The Chief of Staff, marking the important milestone, thanked all members of the Naval Service, past and present for their commitment and dedication, “I am so proud of all who serve, have served and who support the Naval Service. No matter what tasking, be it on fisheries monitoring and protection patrols, major search and recovery operations, counter terrorism and drug interdiction operations or multinational humanitarian operations, the selfless manner in which you meet these challenges head on, reflects the spirit of the generations that proceed you and inspires the next to make a difference. I am honoured to celebrate with you all on your 75th Anniversary and thank you for your service and sacrifice.”
The Secretary General of the Department of Defence thanked Naval Service and their families for their work in the recent past, “in particular, the past 18 months have been extremely challenging and the professionalism, dedication and commitment of all members of the Naval Service has been recognised at a national level in a number of fora, not least your support of the national response to Covid and your sea fisheries role during the tumultuous months when a Brexit deal was being finalised and came into effect. I know that implementing Covid protocols on our ships has been extremely tough on all of you and your families. I would like to applaud you all for your perseverance and recognise your efforts working on the front line to protect the people of Ireland – thank you”.