Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Naval Service

Photo of Eoin Ó BroinEoin Ó Broin (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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359. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the information his Department holds on the widely reported operations of a vessel (details supplied) and associated submarine activity in Irish waters and use of sonar around 27 July 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44141/20]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The Government is aware of the report made in July of this year by an Irish fishing vessel to the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency concerning a UK naval ship conducting an exercise off the North West coast of Donegal.

The location where the UK naval ship was conducting training exercises was not within Ireland’s territorial sea and did not therefore infringe our sovereignty.

In general, it is not unusual for naval ships to ask other vessels in the vicinity to move away from an exercise location for safety reasons.

While advance notice from the UK authorities about the exercise would have been welcome, this was not a requirement and the UK authorities have not done anything out of the ordinary in this instance.


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