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Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019

Kisses all round as LÉ Eithne sailors welcomed back home

It has also been reported this morning that Ireland is set to take in an additional 600 migrants over the next two years.

navy return - 1 Source: David Jones/Irish Naval Service

YESTERDAY SAW THE return of the LÉ Eithne to Ireland, ending nine weeks of service in the Mediterranean.

As the ship pulled up to Haulbowlin in Co Cork, the families of those on board were waiting at the pier to greet them.

The crew of 68 sailors were led by Commander Pearse O’Donnell and assisted by two medics from the Army Medical Corps.

They were sent out on their mission on 16 May this year and carried out a total of 22 operations in which they saved 3,376 individuals from crafts.

navy return - 2 Source: David Jones/Irish Naval Services

Speaking on RTÉ’s Marian Finucane programme with guest presenter Aine Lawlor, Lieutenant Shane Mulcahy of the LÉ Eithne described the experience of returning home after the mission.

“A big part of it is coming home and knowing that you’ve been away for nine weeks and having loved ones at home who have missed you. That’s something that we’re used to in the navy. Our normal operations would be four weeks at a time,” he said.

Nine weeks is a lot longer but I’d like to think that absence makes the heart grow stronger.

navy return - 3 Source: David Jones/Irish Naval Services

This follows reports this morning that the government has agreed to accept an increased number of immigrants as part of an EU initiative.

The Irish Times is reporting that the cabinet has signed off on an additional 600 Syrian and Eritrean migrants being accepted into the country over the next two years.

navy return - 4 Source: David Jones/Irish Naval Services

The LÉ Niamh set off for the Mediterranean earlier this month. The ship will be carrying on the work started by LÉ Eithne.

The ship has a crew of 55 Naval Service personnel and two medics from the Army Medical Corps. It will be captained by Lieutenant Commander Daniel Wall.

navy return - 5 Source: David Jones/Irish Naval Services

Read: LÉ Eithne crew ‘not being paid properly’ for Mediterranean mission

Also: Ireland has just sent its second ship to the Mediterranean

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