Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Department of Defence
327. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if a ship (details supplied) was in Irish waters on 13 and 14 May 2021; if the vessel had permission to pass through Irish waters; if so, the distance it passed off the west coast at the time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27919/21]
With regard to Ireland's EEZ, it is not unusual for naval ships or vessels of other States to carry out training exercises within this area or to passage through this area.
This would normally involve prior notification to Irish Authorities where an exercise was taking place close to our Territorial Waters but this is not a requirement. In the case of the USS Paul Ignatius the US authorities did inform Irish Authorities of their presence in the region in advance and I welcome this engagement by our US colleagues.
The location of the US destroyer was within the Irish EEZ, however the ship did not enter into Irish territorial waters. Other State's naval ships or vessels would be within their rights to carry out a training exercise in our EEZ or to traverse the Irish EEZ. This is not in any way an infringement of our national territory.