Kehoe defends the performance of Ireland’s naval service
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.