Thursday, 11 July 2019
Department of Defence
Naval Service Vessels
92. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the two docked Naval Service ships have interfered or compromised service level responsibilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30578/19]
As the Deputy will be aware, the Naval Service is the State's principal sea-going agency tasked with a variety of defence and other roles. While the main day to day role of the Naval Service is to provide a fishery protection service in accordance with the State's obligations as a member of the European Union, it also carries out a number of other non-fishery related tasks. The fleet is always managed to ensure maximum availability to meet operational requirements. In that context, there is a sub set of vessels on patrol within the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone at any one time.
The two vessels referred to by the Deputy are currently undergoing scheduled periods of maintenance and refit. The issue of their deployment post maintenance and re-fit is currently being considered in the context of overall operational requirements and resources available. A joint civil/military meeting will take place at the end of this week to review and plan ahead for the short and medium term. Any proposals developed will be done so in the context of ensuring the safety of serving personnel. The impact, if any, on service level agreements will be identified through the process.
I can assure the Deputy that the Naval Service will continue to carry out its various roles using available resources.