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LE Eithne-P31.jpg
Side view of Eithne (P31), in Boston Harbor.
Career (Ireland) Irish Naval Jack
Name: Eithne (P31)
Namesake: Ethniu, a tragic heroine in an early Irish romantic tale
Laid down: 15 December 1982
Launched: 19 December 1983
Commissioned: 7 December 1984
Homeport: Haulbowline Naval Base
Status: In active service
General characteristics
Displacement: 1910 tonnes (full load)
Length: 84.8 m (278 ft) overall
Beam: 12 m (39 ft)
Draught: 4.3 m (14 ft)
Speed: 37 km/h (20 kn) maximum
Complement: 85 (9 Officers and 77 ratings)
Armament: Bofors 57 mm gun
2× Rheinmetall 20 mm Cannon
7.62 mm GPMG
Aviation facilities: helicopter flight deck

Eithne (P31) is a patrol vessel in service with the Irish Naval Service. The ship is named after Eithne, a tragic heroine and the daughter of the one-eyed Fomorian King, Balor in an early Irish romantic tale.

Eithne was originally built as a long range fisheries patrol vessel, intended to be at sea for up to 30 days. It was originally planned to order four vessels of this class, but budget restrictions prevented this.


Eithne was the last ship of the Irish Naval Service to have been built in Ireland, constructed at Verolme Dockyard at Rushbrook, County Cork and completed in 1984. Shipbuilding operations ceased at the yard in 1984, and the yard went into receivership.

Eithne can carry a SA365f Dauphin helicopter, and is the only ship in the Irish Naval Service fleet to have a flight deck. Helicopter operations have stopped in recent years, due in part to the purchase of CASA CN235-100MP Persuader Maritime Patrol Aircraft and decommissioning of the Dauphin helicopters. The vessel was fitted with retractable fin stabilisers to reduce rolling during helicopter operations at sea.

In 23 August 2014, asbestos was found on the ship necessitating a clean-up. Eithne is the third Naval Service vessel with the potentially lethal substance, after asbestos was also found on board LÉ Ciara and LÉ Orla.

On 5 May 2015 it was announced by the Minister of Defence Simon Coveney that the LÉ Eithne would take part in the EU's ongoing rescue mission for migrants in the Mediterranean Operation Triton.[1]

Eithne is currently the flagship of the Irish Naval Service.

Buenos Aires voyage[edit]

In April–June 2006 Eithne travelled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the first-ever deployment of an Irish warship in the southern hemisphere, in order to participate in commemorations of the impending sesquicentenary of the death of Admiral William Brown who had been born in Ireland. The ship brought back a statue of Brown to be displayed in Dublin.[2]

See also[edit]

Vessels of comparable role, configuration and era[edit]


  1. ^ Pollak, Sorcha (5 May 2015). "LÉ Eithne to be dispatched in migrant search on May 8th". Irish Times. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  2. ^ Cmdr Mark Mellett (February 2006). "Voyage diary: L.É. Eithne departs for Buenos Aires, Argentina". Irish Naval Service. Retrieved 16 December 2006. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LÉ_Eithne_(P31) — Please support Wikipedia.
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4 news items

Eurasia Review

Eurasia Review
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 11:22:30 -0700

Irish Naval personnel from the LÉ Eithne (P31) rescuing migrants as part of Operation Triton. Photo Credit: Irish Defence Forces, Wikipedia Commons. More Than 300,000 Mediterranean Sea Crossings Recorded So Far This Year. By Eurasia Review. Friday ...
Tue, 19 May 2015 09:40:02 -0700

#EithneEntersMed - Naval Service flagship LÉ Eithne (P31) this evening entered the Strait of Gibraltar on her way to assist in the Mediterranean's migrant crisis, writes Jehan Ashmore. The deployment of the 1,800 tonnes HPV is to enable in the search ...


Wed, 01 Jul 2015 02:33:51 -0700

Irish navy ship, LÉ Eithne (P31), arrives at Palermo port, Italy on June 30, 2015 after rescuing 647 migrants were rescued in the Strait of Sicily. 544 males, 95 females, two of whom were pregnant, and eight children, were aboard the vessel. AP/Newzulu ...
Sun, 07 Jun 2015 00:30:00 -0700

Talianska loď Driade zachránila v sobotu 560 migrantov, kým loď írskeho námorníctva LÉ Eithne (P31) vzala na svoju palubu ďalších 360 osôb. Počet migrantov pokúšajúcich sa prekonať vody Stredozemného mora v nádeji na dosiahnutie brehov Európy sa v ...

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