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Increased role likely for Ireland’s chief maritime protection resource

Following his attendance at today’s Naval Service Commissioning Ceremony in Haulbowline, Fine Gael Defence Spokesman, David Stanton T.D. said that the Naval Service has a crucial role to play in preventing the importation of illegal drugs into Ireland and given the increase in Ireland’s offshore resources, their role as the country’s chief maritime protection asset is likely to increase.

“The Naval Service Officers who received their Commissions today have a critical role to play in the war on drugs which is tearing at the heart of Irish society and undermining the rule of law.

“It is important that the intelligence led, drug interdiction operations undertaken by the Naval Service are resourced with the latest technology to prevent illegal drugs making it ashore. In addition, the Minister must also consider reinstating the full quota of patrol days which were cut by 200 by his predecessor last year. There is no point in equipping a Navy if it is not at sea.

“Given the increase in Ireland’s offshore resources the role of the Naval Service is likely to grow and in that context, reports from the Minister that the contract negotiations for the purchase of two new naval vessels are nearing completion, is very encouraging.

“I would like to congratulate the Officers who received their Commissions today. They have fantastic careers ahead of them involving many onerous responsibilities for which they have no doubt been well prepared.”