Macha (01)

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Career (United Kingdom) Royal Navy Ensign
Class and type: Flower-class corvette
Name: HMS Borage
Builder: George Brown of Greenock
Laid down: 21 November 1940
Launched: 6 November 1941
Completed: 29 April 1942
Decommissioned: 15 November 1946
Maiden voyage: 1942
In service: 1942-46
Identification: K120
Career (Ireland) Irish Naval Jack
Name: Macha
Namesake: Macha, an ancient Irish goddess of war
Acquired: 15 November 1946
Decommissioned: 2 November 1970
Identification: Pennant number: 01
General characteristics
Class and type: Flower-class corvette
Displacement: 1020 tons standard (1280 full load)
Length: 205 ft (62 m)
Beam: 33 ft (10 m)
Depth: 14 ft (4.3 m)
Installed power: Single reciprocating vertical 4-cylinder triple expansion by John Kincaid, Greenock.
Propulsion: 2759 iHP 2 cylindrical Scotch single-ended boilers. Single shaft
Speed: max: 16 knots. cruising: 12 knots
Complement: 5 officers, 74 ratings
Sensors and
processing systems:
Echo sounder
Decca Navigator System
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
Armament: 1 x BL 4 inch Mk IX naval gun replaced in 1960 by a QF 4 inch Mk XIX naval gun
1 x QF 2 pounder naval gun
2 x Oerlikon 20 mm cannons
1 x hedgehog mortar
4 x depth-charge throwers
2 x depth-charge racks

Macha was a ship in the Irish Naval Service. Built as a Flower-class corvette of the Royal Navy named HMS Borage, she was transferred on 15 Nov 1946 to the Irish Naval Service and renamed LÉ Macha after Macha, an ancient Irish goddess of war.

HMS Borage[edit]

She served as escort for the Arctic convoys from 1942-1945 before being sold to Ireland.


In September 1948, she had the honour of carrying the remains of William Butler Yeats from France to Drumcliffe, County Sligo, for reburial.[1] The voyage took 17 days. LÉ Macha was well received at Gibraltar and in France. The remains were received at Rocquebrune near Nice by Sean Murphy, the Irish Ambassador to France. There was a funeral march from Nice to the ship with band, trumpeters and military honours from a company of French alpine troops. It was the first time that France rendered military honours to a civilian.[2] The ship returned to Galway, whence the remains were carried by hearse to their final resting place in County Sligo.[3]

Macha was sold for scrap on 22 Nov 1970.


  1. ^ Foster, R. F. (2003). W. B. Yeats: A Life, Vol. II: The Arch-Poet 1915–1939, p. 656. New York: Oxford UP. ISBN 0-19-818465-4.
  2. ^ MacGinty, Tom (1995). The Irish Navy. Tralee: The Kerryman. p. 155. ISBN 0-946277-22-2. 
  3. ^ "WB Yeats laid to rest in Drumcliffe", The Irish Times, 18 Sept. 2009, republishing article from 18 September 1948.