Fifty-seven members of the Irish Defence Forces have been welcomed home at Haulbowline Naval Base in Cork this morning.
The Naval Service personnel were greeted by family, friends and colleagues as the LÉ James Joyce arrived into Haulbowline at 11am. The Minister with Responsibility for Defence Mr. Paul Kehoe T.D., accompanied by the Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett DSM also welcomed home the crew.
The LÉ James Joyce P62 was the third Irish Naval Service ship to deploy to the Mediterranean as part of EU Naval Mission Operation when she sailed on 6th of July this year. Commanded by Lieutenant Commander Martin Brett, a total of 57 members of the Defence Forces were on-board as the vessel arrived at the quay wall.
EUNAVFOR-Med’s Operation Sophia launched on the 22nd June 2015 as part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to help better manage irregular migration and disrupt trafficker/smuggler networks. Twenty-six states are contributing to the mission.
On arrival of the LÉ James Joyce, Minister Paul Kehoe T.D. Tweeted ‘Irish naval vessels have rescued over 800 migrants along with conducting a range of other tasks. Today, the crew on board LÉ James Joyce arrived home after 6 months in the Mediterranean. It was a privilege to greet Lt. Commander Martin Brett and the rest of the crew who will now enjoy a well-earned break with their families’.
Defence Forces Chief of Staff Vice-Admiral Mark Mellet DSM Tweeted ‘With EUNAVFOR-Med, the crew have contributed to wider EU efforts to disrupt the business model of human smuggling into the Mediterranean.
Operation is contributing to the disruption of human smuggling and trafficking in the Mediterranean, the prevention of loss of life at sea, the gathering of information on illegal Oil trafficking and the implementation of the UN Arms Embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya.
Defence Forces Chief of Staff Vice-Admiral Mark Mellet DSM and Minister Paul Kehoe T.D. welcomes the LÉ James Joyce and crew.
(Photo via Minister Kehoe’s Twitter page)