As part of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Dublin and Cork two of the Irish Naval Service vessels, LÉ Orla and LÉ William Butler Yeats, will be open to the public for visits.
In the capital, LÉ Orla will open on both St Patrick’s Day and Saturday from 1pm – 5pm at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.
LÉ Orla is a coastal patrol vessel. She was originally designed for use by the British Royal Navy in Hong Kong waters and was delivered in 1985 by Hall, Russell & Company as HMS Swift (P243). She was purchased by the Irish government in 1988 and renamed LÉ Orla.
As a Coastal Patrol vessel, she keeps close to Ireland’s coastline, the shallow hull proving an important design feature. In November 2008, She was involved in Operation Seabight which resulted in the largest seizure of cocaine in the history of the Irish state.
In Cork city, the newest member of the fleet LÉ William Butler Yeats will open to view on St Patrick’s Day from 2pm – 5pm at Kennedy Quay.
LÉ William Butler Yeats is an Offshore patrol vessel, the third OPV ordered by the Irish navy. She was built at Appledore Shipyards, Devon.
She was commissioned into the fleet in October and recently as part of its patrol of Irish waters inspected the German and Dutch super-trawlers that have been fishing off the west coast.