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Second Navy Vessel arrives in Broadhaven Bay

category mayo | environment | news report author Tuesday September 02, 2008 17:28author by cockleshell hero Report this post to the editors

Aoife joins Orla

Anothe Irish Naval Service warship arrived off the Mayo Coast this afternoon. Given the small sizse of the Irish navy, the priority which is being put on this operation is alarming. As recent events have shown, the Irish coast is often used by criminals importing large quantities of drugs into the country fro further export to Europe, and the navy is supposed to be an impotant line of defence against this.

Instead two ships ae being used to intimidate the local population of a small part of the west coast, to discourage protests against Shell.

Irish Navy Ship LE Aoife
Irish Navy Ship LE Aoife

Last week the LE Orla was deployed, and the Department of Defence claimed it was in suppot of the Garda. What the Gardai could want with a second warship can only be speculated on.

Many fear that the Navy will seize fishing gear in the bay and thus help Shell's pipe laying operation. By the time the gear is legally returned, it will be too late to stop the Shell work.

author by splutterpublication date Tue Sep 02, 2008 18:55Report this post to the editors

Naturally we all take it for granted that Shell drafted in 125.1 metres of our feelt of 558.84 metres length.
But some of us might think it was just Superintendent John Gilligan of Belmullet diverting national resources from their usual job of guarding our fjords and coves from cocaine traffickers. But in the language of gunboat diplomacy the arrival of LV Aoife at length 62.5 metres and 10.5 metres in the beam represents a serious escalation. LV Orla might be a whole 10centimetres longer but the's only 10 metres in the beam.

I wonder how long are the kayaks or canoes?

From afar, where I am - this afternoon's arrival looks less like Shell bullying you and more like whispers in the departments of Dublin's government. You all know there's no need for one boat confronting civilian protesters, Irish naval officers have just about publically admitted that. Yo probably caught the unprecedented nature of this section of our armed forces supporting a Garda public order operation. However I believe many movers & shakers (& perchance letter writers) amongst ye missed the precedent set by an officers of the Irish navy commenting on their orders in such a way as to suggest if not mutiny ... disatisfaction.

So now we see another boat & we ought be very happy to see her. There is now, as those familiar with the naval things, or have watched pirates of the carribean a few times a question as to which ship & which officer is in command. It's not time to learn about how the little flag signals work, you'd be watching too much master & commander if you held out much hope on the little flags - but it is time to listen in on the background noise, static, radio waves & hard to hear - perhaps forgotten voices.

"If you want to"

Basically what Belmullet needs and the campaign needs, & is notably absent in the English speaking international horizontal blogosphere or such websites - is publicity, more attention on gunboats & less chatter about the lobsterpots.

author by vol. francis hughespublication date Tue Sep 02, 2008 20:18Report this post to the editors

as well as the drugs comin into the country all the illegal fishing done in our waters by other countries and these shower are down there. imagine if they got more military funding like what was stated in Lisbon treaty?

author by stammerpublication date Tue Sep 02, 2008 21:04Report this post to the editors

Not an able seaman, seawoman, seaperson, commissioned or non-commissioned crew member of either of those ships signed up, learnt their knots & grew their beards to find themselves intimidating Irish civilians. They wanted to have a pot-shot at foreign fisherfolk, raise the tricolour on Rockall and catch the much mentioned but little observed cocaine traffickers in the fjords and coves of a united Ireland with all its deep sea bits & continental shelfs.

But they don't even have a boat of the same length, beam or displacement as the largest fishing vessel in the Irish marine fleet which as I write and you read is guided by sat systems to suck protein out of the coasts of western africa and turn it into fishfingers or the rare delicacy of smoked cod.

Now if we look back in the archives of this site - we see loads of display of hardware & gunnery by Willy O'Dea. There's a good photo of a little kid, no more than 7 years old, being shown how to handle a rocket launcher at the Galway air show and photos galore of armoured divisions protecting Bush's visit and infantry proudly marching for the 1916 bash.

But did you ever see a naval regata of which the French Revolutionary landing party of Mayo would be proud - or Gráinne Ní Mháille would dip her ensing & jolly roger to?

No you have not.

The Irish naval forces are the most under-appreciated and under-valued wing of the Irish defense establishment. turn it around till it spins. How many other countries and their medias who know about Shell or love Ireland have seen photos of so much of the fleet assembled before? I daresay quite a few of those types would like to see Ireland buy bigger boats. I wager the semen and seawomen of our navy would be happy with a wee submarine & not playing garda. By the time we get around to pondering such spending we will have forgotten the morality of lobster potting. Or the near rumoured mutiny of last weekend.

Turn it around till it spins

author by rissopublication date Tue Sep 02, 2008 23:57Report this post to the editors

This is unbelievable! Two Navy vessels!! Absolutley disgraceful. I cant believe this. Treating protestors like common criminals is bad enough, now it looks like they think they are terrorists. I am genuinely shocked and bewildered at this development.

author by Jolly Rodger - Irish Citizenpublication date Wed Sep 03, 2008 13:17Report this post to the editors

The INS (Irish Navel Service) are fulfilling one of their secondary roles in North Mayo; that is in the role of aid to civil power. As a professional seafarer I am sick to the teeth of fishermen whinging about how they are trying to make a living. They believe that all merchent vessels need to give way to them at all times and have absoutely no regard of the International Regulations of the Prevention of Collision at Sea or Marine Guidance Notices. I know not all fishermen are the same and have a good many friends that are fishermen who can tell of the attitudes of their workmates. Also Irish Navel vessels begin with the prefix LE and not LV as shown in an other comment below.

author by Paul - wsm (pers. cap.)publication date Wed Sep 03, 2008 14:14Report this post to the editors

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_navy#Current_strength "Its current strength is eight offshore patrol vessels".

I note also from the official webpages for both the LÉ Orla and the LÉ Aoife, that each ship has an association with a children's charity. The "Chernobyl Childrens Charity" and the "Childrens Ward, Waterford Regional Hospital" respectively. I wonder what the press secretaries comments of each would be on being associated on such an assault on the future well-being of children in the Erris area?

Also, like all of the Navy's ships, they operate out of Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour, presumably the families of the navy personnel onboard are to be found in the Cork area. I wonder what their opinions would be on the current work of their serving family members? Methinks we should be told...

author by namelesspublication date Thu Sep 04, 2008 14:31Report this post to the editors

ok. i'm a member of the naval service and i'll probably find myself around the rossport area really soon.
i just want to get a few things straight because i've been reading your progressive wanderings for a while now
and i think some of you need some FACTS.

1. this is not the first time we have been deployed to police demonstrations (remember shannon and all the fishermens' disputes?)
2. our second priority, after defence of the state and its interests, is aid to civil power (ATCP) which is why the gardai requested out presence.
3. i joined the forces to serve the state and its citizens, i took an oath to follow all orders and if necessary, to lay down my life in the service of others, not to act as a 'hired gun' as some of you people will call me.
4. the naval command is working under instruction from defence forces hq, ships' captains respect this at all times and have no interest in negotiating with protester groups, therefore will not accept any advances to do so.

i hope these facts shed some light on the absolute crap some of you people have been writing about myself and my comrades and show a little respect for a change.

thanks for your time

author by Mayo Manpublication date Thu Sep 04, 2008 18:50Report this post to the editors

What is your purpose in Broadhaven then apart from intimidating local law-abiding fishermen and acting as Shells lackeys???

author by billy idlepublication date Thu Sep 04, 2008 19:43Report this post to the editors

"""to lay down my life in the service of others"""

So your prepared to die in defence of this odious oil company! - You need help mate, seriously!!!

"""the naval command is working under instruction from defence forces hq, ships' captains respect this at all times"""

Dark echos of various facist/totalitarian regimes down through history there.

author by namelesspublication date Thu Sep 04, 2008 19:48Report this post to the editors

...following orders, or do you understand this concept?

author by billy idlepublication date Thu Sep 04, 2008 20:37Report this post to the editors

So if you were ordered to take out a boat on which your parents happened to be on - your saying you would??

My job involves orders too, but as a reasonably sane sensible person with a smidgeon of humanity I would not obey an order to inflict serious injury or even death on a fellow human being for no good reason which unfortunatly has not been the case with certain other elements of this states security apparatus!!

author by namelesspublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 14:55Report this post to the editors

I'm not one of those conscious-less GI's that G.W and his war-lords are sending to Iraq, Billy.
You're obviously a civilian and probably don't know the way our system works.

I can't say as to whether i agree or disagree with your demonstration, that would be un-professional of me.
All i can do is obey all lawful orders given to me to my superiors. I've seen more serious disturbances on the streets
of Lebanon, Pristina, and Monrovia, and I can tell you, Billy that we dealt with these in an extremely humane, professional
and impartial way. (When was the last time you heard of the Forces firing on civilians?)

I'm sure you follow orders in your job, we all have to, but please stop regarding me and my colleagues as
brainless robots with itchy fingers. We're there because the democratically elected government wants us to, not by our own choice.
As far as 'Taking Out' a boat with someones parents onboard is concerned..... this is a little bit out of the arguement, don't you think?

Again, thanks for your time.

author by TFY&QApublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 14:59Report this post to the editors

Surely defence of Irish citizens is also included in the agenda of the navy/defence hq? Then why no defence for the local population who quite clearly have not given consent to this madness. The consent of the local population is paramount, and absolutely vital. The establishment including 'defence hq' have no concept of how to back down when faced with an overwhelming lack of local support. YOU MUST HAVE LOCAL SUPPORT. This is why all this has is happening, because of bullies unwilling to recognise the rights of the local community! defence hq indeed, wake up man!!

author by Ponchovillapublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 16:07Report this post to the editors

I just don't get it. What can the navy do, that the Gardai can't?

author by namelesspublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 20:38Report this post to the editors

thanks, TFY&QA, finally someone that sees beyond the anti-capitalism.

I still can't give my opinion on the situation but as a private citizen, its obvious to me that politics has failed on the people of the area.
I know the Broadhaven Bay area very well and know how strongly you can put your views (remember the salmon protests)

The thing that galls me is the foreigners and arm-chair liberals that give thier opinion on local issues.
Fair play to you and the locals, although I have to keep my opinion to myself.

Thanks again for your time.

PS Ponchovilla, we assist the Gardai when the sea is involved.

author by Potemkinpublication date Fri Sep 05, 2008 23:48Report this post to the editors

Yeah it's a purely local issue, this giveaway by Dublin politicians of a national resource to a consortium of companies from Norway, Holland/England and the United States, who will sell it at international market rates set in London, and then use the experimental pipeline technology they are testing here, all over the world in places like Nigeria, Scotland, Russia and other Irish sites like Donegal.

Just ask the security guards from Israel, England and South Africa, they will agee it's a local issue, as will the gardaí from Kerry, Rosscommon and Galway.

Purely local. That's right.

Sure Sir Anthony O'Reilly would tell you the same.

author by Citizen Kanepublication date Sat Sep 06, 2008 14:36Report this post to the editors

I welcome the Irish Navy moving in to protect our valuable natural resources. Any country would do the same. There should be zero tolerance where the infrastructure of the state is being interfered with.

author by Mayo Manpublication date Sat Sep 06, 2008 15:28Report this post to the editors

Do some reading citizen muppet!!

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