BaileNuachtCartlann Aitheasc agus Preaseisiúintí

Taoiseach congratulates Commodore Frank Lynch on the first transit of the Straits of Magellan by Irish Naval Service vessel

 

The Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., and Minister for Defence, Mr. Tony Killeen, T.D., today congratulated Commodore Frank Lynch and the Naval Service on the historic first transit by an Irish naval service vessel through the Straits of Magellan.

The LE Niamh is on a circumnavigation of South America, visiting Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico in acknowledgement of the Bi-Centenaries of Independence which occur this year. This voyage will also soon include the first transit through the Panama Canal by an Irish naval service vessel.

The Taoiseach expressed his appreciation of this special representative mission undertaken by the Naval Service, noting that it was particularly appropriate in the light of the previous visits by naval vessels from these countries to Ireland. "Irish emigrants in the 19th century contributed greatly to the establishment of the Latin republics and the Government are very pleased with the official welcome for the Irish vessel and the community response to the visit during the commemorative programmes."

Commodore Lynch thanked the Taoiseach and said 'the special voyage in this Bi-Centenary year was very welcome and reflected both Irish historic links to the Latin republics and our cordial relations with the host navies. In addition to the representative duties, the mission brought training opportunities for personnel development, the opportunity to work with NGOs and would increase public awareness of the naval service and maritime affairs'.

 

Ends

 

Note for Editors:

Commodore Lynch was accompanied at the meeting by Lt Patricia Butler of Naval Operations Command, Senior Petty Officer John Duffy of Naval Support Command.

[John Duffy was the senior Navy Logistician on the Asian Deployment of LE and Able Diver Allan Cuddihy of the naval diving unit.

Lt Patricia Butler Navigated the LE EITHNE to Argentina in 2006, Senior Petty Officer John Duffy was the senior Navy Logistician on the Asian Deployment in 2002

Able Diver Allan Cuddihy has participated in numerous search and rescue/recovery operations in recent years.]

The progress of the LE Niamh can be monitored on the Defence Forces' Website.