Eithne (P31)

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LÉ 'Eithne', Tall Ships Belfast 2009 - geograph.org.uk - 1450163.jpg
Eithne (P31) at the Tall Ships Belfast 2009
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 an Eithne-class ship in 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 19 days. It was originally planned to order four vessels of this class, but budget restrictions prevented this.

Eithne can also 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.

Eithne is currently the flagship of the Irish Naval Service.

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

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.

Side view of Eithne (P31), in Boston Harbor.

External links[edit]