The Naval Association

The Naval Association was first established in 1962 and termed An Cumann Chabhlaigh,.Following representations by the late Commodore Tommy McKenna through the then Director of the Naval Service Commodore Peter Kavanagh, and the Chief of Staff, the Naval Association was added to the list of Defence Associations, and the Constitution of the Naval association was approved by the then Minister of Defence, Mr Oliver J. Flanagan, T.D. in May 1974

Membership of the Association is restricted to serving Officers, NCOs and Ratings of the Naval Service and An Slua Muiri, (now the Naval Service Reserve) and to ex-members of the Naval Service, An Slua Muiri, the Marine Service and the Maritime Inscription. Interest in the Association decreased in the mid '80s and eventually all activities ceased.

24th March 1992 At a meeting held at the Stella Maris Seafarers Club, in Dublin. Interest was again rekindled. At this meeting an Executive Council was elected and the first branch of the Naval Association was formed and subsequently called the Leading Seaman Michael Quinn Branch after L/S Quinn who gave his young life in an attempt to rescue stranded Spanish Sailors form their stricken trawler off Bantry. See ..L.E. Deirdre

Following a number of meetings, sub-committees were established to pursue the aims of the Association, which are:-·

Active Branches of The Naval Association have been established in Dublin, Waterford, and Limerick.

March 1994 The Naval Association had its first good will visit to the Royal Naval Association at Holyhead.

In 1995 The Dublin Branch of the Naval Association was requested by the Flag Officer of the Naval Service Commodore John Kavanagh to host some event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Naval Service. Plans were set in motion to host a Maritime Festival along the City Quays during May 1996.

November 1995 At a major function held in the Head Quarters of Dublin Port, The Naval Association launch it plans for a Maritime Festival, to be held at City Quay Dublin as part of the 50th Annivasary celebrations on the establishment of the Naval Service at the end of WW2. The large gathering at this function included 10 Foreign Ambassadors and all the Military Attaches resident in Dublin.

November 1995 Naval Association Colours are presented to our Asssociation by the Harbour Master of Dublin Port on board the Naval Flagship LE Eithne. A Guard of Honour from the Naval Reserve under S/Lt Stephen Murphy, the Band from the Southern Command under Cmdt.Mark Armstrong and representatives from the Naval Associations from Anglsey and Berkinhead added to the occassion. ....See Colours

March 1996 To publicise the forthcoming Dublin Maritime Festival The Naval Association paraded their new colours for the first time in the Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This was at the invitation of Col. William Thorpy the US Military Attaché in Dublin and the American Ambassador to Ireland Mrs. Jean Kennedy Smith. Col.Thorpy organised Fort Devens in Boston as our base and provided 3 military transport including 3 US Army drivers during our stay. This also included a visit to WestPoint Military Academy. Of the 158 members of the Naval association who marched in the Boston St Patrick’s Day Parade 85 Officers, NCOs and Ratings marched in full Naval Uniform. The first time such a large number of Naval personnel marched in uniform outside the state. See Details

June 1996 Tall Ships and foreign Naval Ships lined the City Quays in Dublin for this 4 day event organised by The Naval Association to celebrate 50 years of the Irish Naval Service. See Naval Service History"

Highlights of the Festival were:-

  • The launching of the Festival by the Minister of Finance Mr.Rory Quinn T.D.who prior to the official launch inspected a Guard of Honour drawn from the Naval Service Reserve under the command of Lt. Stephen Murphy. The Army No.1 Band played the honours under the command of Lt.Col. Joe Ryan. A Maritime Exhibition.
  • Mass celebrated by the Arch-Bishop of Dublin.
  • Blessing of the visiting Fleet.
  • Many musical events including two concert performances by 60 members of the by Wexford Symphonia playing from the Guinness mobile stage at City Quay.
  • Naval Drill Display
  • Maritime Exhibition at the Riverside Centre
  • Competition for Transitition Students
  • Banquet in Dublin Castle Guests included Mr. Bertie Ahern T.D. newly elected Leader of the Fianna Fail Party
The visit of the Tall Ships and the festival was seen as the fore-runner to the visit of the Tall Ships in 1998 and the visit in July of the JFK, which was planned originally by Col Torpey during our initial meeting to be in Dublin for our Festival. However, the logistics of getting the thousands of JFK’s crew ashore while anchored off Dublin Bay needed organising on a scale of its own. Thousands visited the City Quays over the Festival weekend. See..Here.. for details

September 1996 Presentation of framed Naval Association Pendents to all those who supported and sponsored the Maritime Festival. This function was hosted in the Lord Mayors residence and was attended by the Lord Mayor of Dublin and many other dignitaries.

March 1997 The second visit by the Irish Naval Association to New York and Boston. This trip included a guided tour of the USS Salem a WW2 Battle Cruiser and a visit to the oldest commissioned vessel afloat the USS Constitution. The trip also included a trip to the Boston Ski Resort for a days ski-ing.

June 1997 First visit to Dublin from the Berkinhead branch of the Royal Naval Association. The Irish Naval Association met the Royal Naval Association group off the Irish Ferry at Dun Laoighaire and brought the group on an open top twin deck Bus to the Martime Museum. After the visit to the Museum they were treated to a tour of Dublin City and by a reception hosted by the Dublin Lord Mayor at the Lord Mayor's Mansion.
Following the reception they were off again this time to the famous Guinness Hop Store where they visited the Guinness Plant and Museum. Many free pints of Guinness was sampled before moving off to the Westmanstown Social Centre for the Irish Naval Associations official welcome to the Royal Naval Association Group followed by presentations and dinner.

August 1997 36 members of the Irish Naval Association paid a return visit to the Birkenhead Branch of the Royal Naval Association. Our visit included a tour of Liverpool Docks and a visit to the Submarine Onyx and a British Destroyer based at Liverpool. The sad part of this trip was that it clashed with the funeral of Princess Diane but our hosts wanted to continue with their plans for our visit. At exactly 11 a.m. the time of the funeral both groups the Irish Naval Association and the Royal Naval Association stood in silence at a war memorial in some small little country village outside Liverpool as a mark of respect to Princess Diane. A very nice dinner and reception was hosted by the Royal Naval Association at the end of our visit that evening.

September 1997 The Naval Association invaded the waterways of the River Shannon. 60 members and wives on board 10 of the biggest river cruisers available spent 7 days cruising the rivers and lakes of the Shannon River during one of the warmest weeks on record for that time of year. This beautiful warm weather was ideal for the evening barbecues and the other activities held during the week.

March 1998 members of the Naval Association from Dublin and Waterford travelled to Miami in Florida and then on to the largest Naval Base in the USA at Coronado in San Diego. Our host at the Naval Base on St. Patrick’s Day was Admiral Veronica Froman the top female Admiral in the US Navy. (See visit to San Diego)

June 1998 Naval Association Reception at the Dublin Lord Mayors Residence (The Mansion House). Present were The Lord Mayor, The US Ambassador Mrs. Jean Kennedy-Smith (sister of President Kennedy), The Flag Officer of the Naval Service Commodore John kavanagh and Col. William Torpey (US Military Attache) and over 100 guests. A presentation was made to the US Ambassador and Col. Torpey in recognition of their contributions to the success of our visits to the United States.

August 1998 The Naval Association setup the Communications Division for the duration of the visit to Dublin of over 100 Sailing Vessels participating in the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race. This includes 16 large A Class Vessels including The Vessels "Sedov", "Kruzenshtern", "Libertad", "Dar Mlodzlezy", "Mir", "Gloria" etc. see the Cutty Sark Tall Ship Story

September 1998 Presentation of a Gold Chain of Office to our President Mr. Piaras O'Connor by Commodore John Kavanagh Flag Officer of the Naval service. The presentation took place at 1200 hrs on the main square of the Naval Base. It was also the 80th birthday of our President who was one of the first to join the new Marine Service set up at the outbreak of WW2. SeeHere for pictures

November 1998 56 members of the Naval Association were the Naval presence at the Inauguration of the Peace Park at Messines, Belgium. The Naval Association were invited by Paddy Harte T.D. Our Association set-up the web site for the Island of Ireland Peace Park. The President of the Naval Association Mr. Piaras O’Connor was included on the guest list for the reception hosted by President Mary McAleese attended by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and His Royal Highness the King of the Belgiums. See Here for details.

March 1999 74 members of the Association travelled to Clonea Strand Hotel, Waterford, for three days of Golf, Snooker, and Ten Pin Bowling.

May 1999 50 members paid a week long visit to the D-Day Landing sites at Normandy and the United States, British and German War Cemeteries. See Normandy visit

June 1999 48 members of the Association travelled to Holyhead in Wales to commerate the 60th anniversary of the loss of the HMS Submarine "Thetis" and 99 of her crew plus a diver who died in the rescue attempt in June 1939. Click here for details of the loss of "HMS Thetis"

September 1999 48 of our members travelled to the Battle Sites of WW1 once again to find the graves of the relatives of our members who died in the Great War. This took our party to Ypres, Theipval and again to Messiness to visit the Peace Park where our President laid a wreath at both the Peace Tower and the grave of William Redmond. See details
Here are more Pictures

1st July 2000 Return trip to cruise the river Shannon for one week.

17th-24th September 2000 8 day visit by coach to Paris and St. Malo France....See...details

September 2001, 59 of our members travelled to Italy visiting Venice, Verona, Florence, Pisa, Lake Garda and then 7 days at the Irish College and a special visit and Mass at the Vatican and Audience with Pope John Paul 2.

28 members of The Irish Naval Association were guests of the Birkenhead Branch of the Royal Naval Association on the weekend 16th September 2001. This was the second invitation for our members to participate in the annual parade and memorial service, the celebrant was Revd. John Williams M.B.E. The salute was taken by Cmdr. Henry Harley, and Captain Colin Lee, also invited to take the salute was Lt.Cdr Frank Lynch (vice-President of the Irish Naval Association).See .. Here..fopr pictures.

18th November 2001 Unveiling of a stained glass window by The Irish Prime Minister, An Taoiseach Mr. Bertie Ahearn T.D. at the Garrison Church, Cathal Brugha Barracks. The window was commissioned by The Naval Association in memory of the deceased members of The Marine Service (1939-1946), The Maritime Inscription (1939-1947), The Naval Service, and An Slua Muiri (now renamed The Naval Service Reserve) See details click here

In 2002 our Association took 10 Cruisers down the Shannon for 7 days.

2006 started a sad year with the Tsunami disaster. The Naval Association raised over €2000 for the Red Cross appeal. In February the Flag Ship of the Navy travelled on its longest Journey ever to Argentina. Once again the Naval Association raised over €2000 to donate to the fund set up by LE Eithne to assist the poor in Argentina.

May 2006 Visit to Aras and President Mary McAleese...SeeDetails

September 2006 65 members of the Naval Association travelled to Ginchy and Guillemot in France to attend the ceremonies commemorating the Irish Victories 90 years ago in the recapturing these two Towns from the Germans. The President of the Naval Association Lt.Cdr.Robert Mulrooney laid a wreath at both the Irish and French memorials in Ginchy and Guillemot. Lt.Matt Comiskey (SM) Retd. Accepted a certificate from the Mayor of Ginchy on behalf of his relatives in recognition of his Uncle Patsy who lost his life during the Battle for Ginchy on 9th September 1916. See.. Details..

Easter Ceremonies... Unfortunately the Naval Association were not invited to participate in the Easter Commemoration ceremonies here in Ireland for the 1916 rising, however, the Naval Association hosted a lavish Banquet Celebration in Dublin Castle on 11th November to commemorate the Easter Rising and the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

11th November 2006 Banquet Dublin Castle...See ..Details

Events for This year 2007
March 3rd (Saturday) Annual AGM Bru Na bhFiann, Queens Street 1400hrs.

March 3rd (Saturday) Social Function 1730hrs. Bru Na bhFainn Queens Street Dublin 1.

March 4th (Sunday) Annual Mass for deceased Members. Garrison Church, Cathal Brugha Barracks.1100hrs.

March 7th (Wednesday)Visit to Nautical College in Cork. Guided tour of College at 1030hrs followed by lunch at the Naval Base and a tour of the Naval Base. (Depart Heuston Station 0700,coach to Nautical College will be provided.)

September 8th 7 days trip on River Shannon 8 to 10 Cruisers available

December 7th (Friday) Arrive Waterford for 3 nights stay at the Granville Hotel. All en-suite rooms.
December 8th (Saturday) Afternoon tour of Waterford Crystal followed in the evening by our Christams dinner and dance at the Granville Hotel. Music by Tommy Carroll.
December 9th (Sunday) Waterford Annual Mass for deceased members of the Naval Association. Music at the Mass will be provided by the Barrack Street Band. Following the Mass Waterford will host a reception at the GAA Club when Lunch will be available and music provided by Mick Quinn on Keyboard.

Click --- Here.. to return to front page.