LÉ James Joyce to return to Ireland from Mediterranean

Irish Naval Service vessel rescued almost 2,500 migrants during deployment

The LÉ James Joyce will be welcomed back to Ireland on Friday morning by Minister of State for Defence, Paul Kehoe following a deployment in the Mediterranean in which saw some 2,500 migrants rescued.

The ship was deployed on July 8th following Government approval as part of Ireland's response to the migrant crisis. Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett will be in attendance at the homecoming at Naval Base at Haulbowline, Cork.

The LÉ James Joyce, under its captain Lieut Cdr Neil Manning, rescued 2,491 people and recovered 21 deceased people. The crew assisted the Italian authorities in the rescue of a further 1,082 people.

Since first sending ships to the Mediterranean in 2015, the Irish Naval Service through its ships LÉ Eithne, the LÉ Niamh, the LÉ Samuel Beckett and the LÉ Roisín as well as the LÉ James Joyce, has rescued some 12,410 people.


The LÉ James Joyce and its crew of 59 has been replaced by the LÉ Samuel Beckett, which departed last week.

During his visit to Haubowline, Minister Kehoe will unveil a plaque to commemorate the LÉ Clíona in recognition of the brave and decisive actions of the officers, NCOs and men of the ship when bringing a fire onboard under control on the 29th of May 1962.

The actions of the crew ensured the vessel returned safely to port and earlier this month, scrolls were presented to Lt Cdr Ó Mathúna, WO/ERA Egan, C/Sto Mynes and the family of C/Sto O’Callaghan for their bravery.

Mr Kehoe will also attend the Naval Service Commissioning Ceremony of six new Officers from the 54th Naval Service cadet class as they are awarded their Presidential Commissions to mark the successful completion of two years intensive military and nautical training. The cadets are from counties Dublin, Donegal, Down, Meath, Waterford and Cork.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times