The Minister for Defence Mr Willie O'Dea T.D., the Argentine Ambassador His Excellency Mr Marcelo Heurgo, the Chief of Staff of Defence Forces Lieutenant General Jim Sreenan and the Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service, Commodore Frank Lynch attended a ceremony at Haulbowline on Monday 6th February, to mark the departure of Ireland's Flagship L.E. Eithne to South America.
The L.E. Eithne departed the Naval Base at 11:30 hrs and is expected to return on 8th April 2006. The deployment is a result of the Government's acceptance of an invitation from the Argentine Government to send a Naval Ship to Argentina to join in celebrations commemorating the founder of the Argentinian Navy, Irishman Admiral William Brown. In addition to Buenos Aries and Mar del Plata in Argentina, the ship will also visit Montevideo in Uruguay, Rio de Janeiro and Fortalessa in Brazil.
Besides the diplomatic and ceremonial considerations associated with the visit, Naval Service men and women will support the work of Irish health services by facilitating information exchange on employment opportunities. They will also host tours by sick children from paediatric hospitals in all of the ports they visit as well as offering technical and humanitarian assistance to NGO groups and Missionaries along the South Atlantic American rim. The departure ceremony was attended by representatives and patients from Crumlin Childrens Hospital, the Admiral Brown Society, the HSE and families of the ships crew, and the President of the naval Association Lt. Cdr. Robert Mulrooney
The Navy will distribute gifts to the children of Argentina from donations received from the people of Foxford, the Archbishop of Dublin and a cash donation from the Irish Naval Association.
Diary of Events
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Commander Mellett and The Argentinian Ambassador Marcelo Huergo on board L.E. Eithne.
Minister Of Defence William O'Dea (TD) Inspects the Guard of Honour
Commander Mellett addresses the guests on board, prior to L.E. Eithne's departure for Argentina
The Minister of Defence William O'Dea T.D. Addresses the ships company and guests.
Fr.Des Campion (Naval Service Chaplain)Blessed L.E. Eithne and her Crew and wished them a safe Voyage
Commander Mellett, Commodore Lynch, Chief of Staff, William O'Dea (TD), and Captain Robinson.
Commander Mellett accepts the cash donation from the Naval Association President Lt.Cdr. Mulrooney