Hospital Ship for Irish Naval Service – A Worthy Aspiration

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he supports plans to introduce a navy hospital ship which would respond to humanitarian emergencies worldwide. He made the comments during the commissioning of the new Naval Service vessel LÉ William Butler Yeats at Galway’s docks on Monday.

LÉ William Butler Yeats commissioning ceremony in Galway

LÉ William Butler Yeats commissioning ceremony in Galway

The Taoiseach said “ Indeed it is my wish that we will, in time, have a naval vessel that is a fully functional hospital, able to respond to humanitarian and other emergencies across the globe…I believe it is in keeping with our rich tradition of charity and volunteering.”

The Irish Naval Service has a long history contributing to humanitarian missions and is currently actively involved in the response to the Mediterranean refugee crisis with several Irish vessels having now made important contributions.

L.É. Eithne in the Mediterranen Responding to the Refugee Crisis

L.É. Eithne in the Mediterranean (2005)

An Enhanced Patrol Vessel, which would have served as a hospital ship, had been part of the original tender for new ships in 2007 but was moved down in priority in favour of the three new Offshore Patrol Vessel’s that have just entered service.

It remains to be seen what substantive progress will be made on the Taoiseach’s comments but a hospital ship would be a fantastic addition to the Irish Naval Service.

About the Author

Daniel Farrell

Interested in all things on the Irish coast and sharing the best of it. // Email: Daniel@coastmonkey.ie // Follow on Twitter: @DanielsSeaViews