President pays tribute to Naval Service for rescuing migrants

Personnel from vessels sent to Mediterranean attend event at Áras an Uachtaráin

 PO/PROG Jason O Brien and WO Robin Finn at St Patrick’s Day reception at Áras an Uachtaráin. Photograph: Maxwells Dublin

PO/PROG Jason O Brien and WO Robin Finn at St Patrick’s Day reception at Áras an Uachtaráin. Photograph: Maxwells Dublin

 

President Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to members of the Naval Service for rescuing migrants trying to get to Europe by crossing the Mediterranean.

About 200 members of the Naval Service, and others from the Defence Forces, were invited to a special St Patrick’s Day reception at Áras an Uachtaráin.

Personnel that crewed the LÉ Eithne, LÉ Niamh and LÉ Samuel Beckett, and who took in excess of 8,000 migrants from waters attended.

The Irish were deployed in the international rescue mission for almost eight months from May to December and are expected to return in coming months when the Government approves a new deployment.

President Higgins said the Defence Forces personnel who had served on the rescue mission were an “invaluable role model” to everyone in the country.