Site Last Updated  November 2017

Home

Shipwreck Lists

Harbour History

River Steamers

Irish Naval Service

Royal Navy in Cork

US Navy in Cork

USN Air Service in Cork

Killeagh Airship Station

Cruise Ships in Cork

Views Past and Present

Sources

Links

Sealife of Cork Harbour

Lough Mahon Lighthouse

Martello Towers

Training Ships in Cork Harbour

Spit Bank Lighthouse



The Irish Naval Service

The provision of a naval service for the fledgling Irish Free State in 1922,was fraught with problems. Under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Ireland was not allowed to raise it's own naval force, but had to rely on the protection of the Royal Navy.

This was demonstrated during the Irish Civil War, when British Naval forces provided both armaments and intelligence for the Free State forces against the Irregulars. British Destroyers patrolled the coasts and provided searchlights and star-shell support to Free State defenders under attack in Kerry and elsewhere


Cork Harbour, showing Haulbowline as British Naval Base (c. 1890)

After the uneasy truce of 1923, permission was given for a small maritime force, ostensibly for fishery protection, but also as patrol craft guarding against arms landings for the IRA (Irish Republican Army) which was still a threat to the new State.

This appears to have been a failure, using a collection of ex-minesweeping trawlers, wooden 80ft motor launches and and a rescue tug. It was disbanded within a year and the vessels either sold or scrapped. It must be remembered that this was in the context of a government that could not even afford to maintain old-age pensions.

Fishery protection in this era was a disaster, with fleets of foreign (and native) trawlers having scant disregard for any rules and regulations regarding commercial fishing.

It was decided that one vessel the Muirchu (ex-HMS Helga) would be Ireland's sole fishery protection vessel. This craft, unarmed until 1936, was under the control of the Department of Agriculture. This was the extent of Ireland's COASTAL AND MARINE SERVICE

Irish Fishery Protection Vessel Helga, with captured Belgian trawler (c.1930)


In 1938, Ireland gained full control of the Treaty Ports and the right to her own navy.The Muirchu, was joined in fishery protection duties by the trawler Fort Rannoch.


In 1939, with the outbreak of war the MARINE AND COASTWATCHING SERVICE was established. The Irish Government ordered 6 Motor Torpedo Boats from Britain. This was not without criticism, as it would be hard to find a craft, less suited to the turbulent seas of Ireland (see feature on US Subchasers). They were joined by the MV Shark, formerly a salvage vessel, and the three-masted fore and aft schooner Isaalt.


LE Cliona (ex HMS Bellwort)

t was not until 1946 that the Irish Naval Service was established. The first ships were three ex - royal Navy Flower Class Corvettes, which provided sterling service for the nation.

Again, a remarkable lack of political will ensured that this aged and uncomfortable fleet was not updated until 24 years later in 1970, with the purchase of three coastal minesweepers, again from the Royal Navy.

Since then the Naval Service has gone from strength to strength. It has a proud tradition of service to the Irish nation. The island of Haulbowline in Cork Harbour, serves as the headquarters of the Irish Naval Service. It comprises of oil wharf, basin, workshops,accomodation, communications , stores and administration.


The main duty of the Naval Service has always been as a Fisheries Protection Service. It has also performed valuable service in the rescue of life, and during disasters such as the Air India disaster off the West coast of Cork in June 1985.


The Navy has also been involved in the interception of terrorist arms cargoes and drugs shipments to Ireland. It has also provided logistics to Irish Forces serving overseas with the United Nations.


IIn the past two years The Naval Service has been tasked with providing ships to rescue migrants in the seas of the Mediterranean. The personnel have risen to this difficult humanitarian work  with great distinction.



LE LE Samuel  Beckett,

Fleet List

NAME

FORMERLY

TYPE/CLASS

DATE COMMISSIONED

DATE DISPOSED

OTHER DETAILS

Muirchu

HMS Helga

Fishery Protection Vessel

1922

1947


ML1


Motor Launch

1922



ML2


Motor Launch

1922



ML3


Motor Launch

1922



John S. Somers

HMD John S.Somers

Drifter

1922



Inisherer


Drifter

1922



TR24

HMT 24

Canadian Castle Class Armed Trawler

1923


Built by Vickers, Montreal

TR25

HMT 25

Canadian Castle Class Armed Trawler

1923


Built by Vickers Montreal

TR27

HMT 27

Canadian Castle Class Armed Trawler

1923


Built by Vickers, Montreal

TR29

HMT 29

Canadian Castle Class Armed Trawler

1923


Built by Vickers, Montreal

TR30

HMT 30

Canadian Castle Class Armed Trawler

1923


Built by Vickers, Montreal

TR31

HMT31

Canadian Castle Class Armed Trawler

1923


Built by Vickers, Montreal

Dainty

HM Tug Dainty

Admiralty rescue tug

1923


Built by Finch, Chepstow,
1918

John Dunn

HMT John Dunn

Mersey Class Armed Trawler

1923


Built by Ferguson, Port Glasgow,
1918.

John Dutton

HMT John Dutton

Mersey Class Armed Trawler

1923


Built by Ferguson, Port Glasgow,
1918.

William Horner

HMT William Horner

Mersey Class Armed Trawler

1923


Built by Ferguson, Port Glasgow,
1918.

John Murray

HMT John Murray

Mersey Class Armed Trawler

1923


Built by Cochrane, Selby,
1919.

Thomas Thresher

HMT ThomasThresher

Mersey Class Armed Trawler

1923


Built by Cochrane, Selby,
1918

Christopher Dixon

HMT Christoper Dixon

Mersey Class Armed Trawler

1923


Built by Cochrane, Selby,
1918.

Fort Rannoch


Trawler

1937

1947


M1


Motor Torpedo Boat

1940

1948


M2


Motor Torpedo Boat

1940

1948


M3


Motor Torpedo Boat

1940

1948


M4


Motor Torpedo Boat

1942

1948


M5


Motor Torpedo Boat

1942

1948


M6


Motor Torpedo Boat

1943

1948


MPV Shark

Shark, of Palmers, Ringaskiddy.

Ex-salvage vessel

1940

1952


TV Isallt


Fore and Aft Schooner, used as training vessel

1940

1945


LE Macha (01)

HMS Borage (1942)

Flower Class Corvette

1946

1970


LE Maeve (02)

HMS Oxlip (1941)

Flower Class Corvette

1946

1970


LE Cliona (03)

HMS Bellwort (1941)

Flower Class Corvette

1947

1970


LE Grainne (CM10)

HMS Oulston (1956)

Coniston Class Coastal Minesweeper

1971

1985


LE Banba (CM11)

HMS Alverton(1954)

Coniston Class Coastal Minesweeper

1971

1983


LE Fola (CM12)

HMS Blaxton (1955)

Coniston Class Coastal Minesweeper

1971

1986


LE Deirdre (P20)


Offshore Patrol Vessel

1972

2001


LE Setanta (A15)

Isolda (1953) - For Commissioners of Irish Lights

Used as patrol and training vessel

1976

1984

Built By Liffey Dockyard,
Dublin

LE Ferdia (A16)

Helen Basse (1965)

Stern Trawler

1977

1977


LE Emer (P21)


Offshore Patrol Vessel

1977


Paid Off 20th September
2013

LE Aoife (P22)


Offshore Patrol Vessel

1979



LE Aisling (P23)


Offshore Patrol Vessel

1980


Paid off June 2016

LE Eithne (P31)


Helicopter Patrol Vessel

1984



LE Orla (P41)

HMS Swift (1983)

Peacock Class Patrol Vessel

1989



LE Ciara (P42)

HMS Swallow (1984)

Peacock Class Patrol Vessel

1989



LE Roisin (P51)


Offshore Patrol Vessel

1999



LE Niamh (P52)


Offshore Patrol Vessel

2001



LE Samuel Beckett (P61)


Offshore Patrol Vessel

2014


Built by Babcock Marine,
Appledore.

LE James Joyce


Offshore Patrol Vessel

2015


Built by Babcock Marine,
Appledore.

LE William Butler Yeats


Offshore Patrol Vessel

2016


Built by Babcock Marine,
Appledore.







The decommissioned LE Deirdre, (P20),  in Verlome Dockyard, 2001


LE Emer (P21)


LE Aisling (P23)


LE Eithne (P31)


LE Orla (P41)


LE Ciara (P42)


LE Roisin (P51)


LE Niamh (P52)


Karycraft




LE William Butler Yeats (P63)


David F


Karycraft


Fiach Dubh



corkshipwrecks.net

Info@corkshipwrecks.net

Site first uploaded 24th September 2002