LÉ Maeve Binchy should be name of next naval ship – Senator

Neale Richmond urges naming of ship after ‘one of Ireland’s most famous daughters’

Seaworthy: Maeve Binchy. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

The next ship to be commissioned by the Irish Naval Services should commemorate a famous Irish woman, a Dublin Senator has suggested.

Neale Richmond of Fine Gael has written to Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe asking that a prominent female literary figure be remembered. He said it would be particularly appropriate in the year of the centenary of women getting the vote.

Mr Richmond wrote to Mr Kehoe following the announcement that the next naval ship to be commissioned will be the LÉ George Bernard Shaw. After decades of naming Irish naval vessels with female Irish forenames (such as Aoife, Róisin, Orla and Niamh) the pattern in recent years has been to name them after famous literary figures, such as WB Yeats, Samuel Beckett and James Joyce.

Mr Richmond said his own preference would be for the late Dublin author Maeve Binchy.


He said he realised the suggestions for the naming of new ships is the responsibility of the Flag Commanding Officer of the Irish Naval Service. He said he was writing to encourage Mr Kehoe and the officer to consider naming the next new ship to come on stream after Ms Binchy who passed away in 2012.

“An award-winning writer, Ms Binchy is famous around the world and was a famed resident of the lovely Dublin seaside town of Dalkey.”

“In the year of the centenary of women getting the vote, I would think it would be utterly appropriate to name the next ship after one of Ireland’s most famous daughters, particularly given that all vessels so far have been named after male writers.

“I feel it would be utterly appropriate for our next ship to be named the LÉ Maeve Binchy and I would gratefully appreciate if you would consider this,” he wrote.

Harry McGee

Harry McGee

Harry McGee is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times