Navy’s New Ship: Meet LÉ William Butler Yeats

The Irish Naval Service has this month floated out the LÉ William Butler Yeats.

It’s the third Samuel Beckett-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV), joining the LÉ Samuel Beckett, commissioned in 2014 and LÉ James Joyce, commissioned in 2015. OPV’s are primarily deployed in fishery protection, search and rescue and maritime patrol missions in the 200-mile Irish Economic Exclusion Zone.

Have a closer look below: (Photos are from the Irish Naval Sevice Facebook page)


The LÉ William Butler Yeats is the final replacement of three earlier vessels, the Deirdre Class LE Emer, LE Aoife and LE Aisling.



The ship features an extended monohull design.



Has a length of 89.5m, beam of 14m, draft of 3.8m and displacement of 1,900t.



Typically carries 54 personnel (44 Ships Company and 10 trainees.)



The aft flight deck allows for the operations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), can accommodate three 20ft containers and has a large 5t crane.


The diesel electric propulsion integrates two medium speed diesel engines driving two five-bladed controllable pitch propellers


Accommodation is provided in single berths and four berth cabins.



The main gun of the vessel is a 76mm compact naval gun equipped with an electro optical fire control system.



Two 20mm cannons are fitted port and starboard and serve as secondary weapons.



The  ship integrates a 450kW bow thruster and rudders for high manoeuvrability in close quarters.



The arrival of the LÉ William Butler Yeats is timely given Ireland’s renewed commitment to the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean. The deployment soon of the LÉ Róisín, which replaces the fine contributions of the LÉ Niamh, means an additional ship will be welcomed on Fisheries protection patrols around the Irish coast.

About the Author

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