Ke­hoe de­fends the per­for­mance of Ire­land’s naval ser­vice

Wexford People - - NEWS -

THE pro­jected num­ber of pa­trol days for the naval ser­vice at sea in 2018 is 1,070, or 20 days short of the orig­i­nal tar­get, Min­is­ter of State for De­fence Paul Ke­hoe told the Dáil.

He was re­spond­ing to Sinn Féin’s Aongus Ó Sn­odaigh who claimed ships are leav­ing Haulbow­line and an­chor­ing off the coast in or­der that it can be said they are op­er­a­tional. ‘That is a dis­grace and must be ad­dressed. ‘The Min­is­ter of State and the mil­i­tary author­i­ties must ad­mit that they can­not ful­fil the du­ties they un­der­take with the Sea-Fish­eries Pro­tec­tion Author­ity be­cause they can­not get ships out to sea,’ he said.

Min­is­ter of State Ke­hoe said while the main day-to-day role of the Naval Ser­vice is to pro­vide a fish­ery pro­tec­tion ser­vice in ac­cor­dance with the State’s obli­ga­tions as a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Union, it also car­ries out a num­ber of other non-fish­ery re­lated tasks.

‘I pay trib­ute to the sig­nif­i­cant se­cu­rity role the Naval Ser­vice rou­tinely car­ries out,’ he said.

‘By its na­ture, of­ten that se­cu­rity role goes un­recog­nised or un­ac­knowl­edged, but it is vi­tal to Ire­land’s na­tional pri­or­i­ties and in­ter­ests.

‘We are op­er­at­ing the same num­ber of ships as we op­er­ated this time last year,’ he said. ‘We also have sim­i­lar com­mit­ments to those we had last year in the Mediter­ranean.’

Min­is­ter Paul Ke­hoe.

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