Russian naval exercises off Irish coast


Sir, – Given the recent announcement of Russian naval manoeuvres off our southwest coast, and our inability to monitor same due to a lack of capability and a lack of personnel, maybe the time has come for Minister for Defence Simon Coveney and the Government to address the serious deficiencies in our defence capability.

The crisis of retention of skilled personnel has been ongoing for years without any serious attempt to address it. Most of the Naval Service fleet is inoperable due to a shortage of crew.

As many have pointed out, we are the weakest link in terms of European defence, with the lowest spend and dependent on others to do it for us. After 100 years of independence, maybe it’s time to be not so dependent on others. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – When the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney made it clear to the Russian ambassador to Ireland Yuri Filatov that Russia’s controversial plans to hold naval exercises off the southwest coast of Ireland next month were not something that Ireland welcomed, did he remind the ambassador that the Skibbereen Eagle would be keeping its beady eye on Tsar Putin’s fleet for the duration of the exercises? – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – For those who remember, did Jimmy O’Dea get it right when he sang, “The Russians are after our Dublin Bay herrings and have been sighted due south of the Kish”? – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.