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View Full Version : Recalling a FIRE on L.E. CLIONA 29th May 1962



ancientmariner
21st August 2015, 14:51
It was a serene day , flat calm, and wall to wall sunshine, when the Cliona left Haulbowline on 29th May 1962,with full crew, 20 trainees, with Staffs, and a large media group, including RTE News team and cameras. There were more than 100 personnel on board as the big interest item was a demonstration of all the Anti-Submarine measures including Hedgehog and patterns of 10 LIVE Depth Charges.
During an exercise involving a release of 10 Depth Charges, there was an unexpected shockwave, which resulted in a fuel supply pipe to a boiler burner breaking, causing fuel to be sprayed over the boiler fronts , followed by a spectacular boiler room fire.
The L/Stoker on duty, and his assistant were forced to retire, suffering some burns, but not before L/Stoker W. Mynes closed the valve supplying the fuel thereby limiting the potential supply of fuel to the fire.
The on scene fire team was lead by Lieut. P. O'Mahony, the ship's XO, his persistence and unwavering courage, despite fire re-ignitions, eventually extinguished the fire, after more than 90 minutes.
In the wash up many weeks later the bravery of O'Mahony, and Mynes, went unrewarded and remain so to this day. This was despite an attempt by an officer involved in the Inquiry into a fire on L.E.Aisling, looking back at the Cliona fire. In that "look back" he highlighted the bravery of O'Mahony and Mynes and recommended that they be duly rewarded.
The now elderly retired servicemen deserve to receive DSM's. O'Mahony's bravery was spectacular standing on full fuel tanks and the engineroom casing buckling from heat. He was a sight to behold!
Surely somebody in authority can now see merit in an appropriate award.

Bravo20
21st August 2015, 16:03
We are not very good at admitting we made a mistake in the past and reversing our previous decisions.

ancientmariner
21st August 2015, 17:42
France awarded medals associated with 1914-18 war 100 years late, as did the US Government albeit posthumously. Medals are a recognition that a state has gratitude for the exemplary actions of it's service men. There should be no time limit in rewarding courage and distinguished service, whenever it is revealed.

Lorenco
21st August 2015, 20:41
Question: If Lieut. O'Mahony was the XO what was he doing fighting the fire in the engine room. Where was the engineer officer? His and L/S Mynes bravery should now be rewarded.

hptmurphy
21st August 2015, 21:49
Question: If Lieut. O'Mahony was the XO what was he doing fighting the fire in the engine room. Where was the engineer officer? His and L/S Mynes bravery should now be rewarded.

Probably managing damage control as is his job as opposed to actual firefighting.

the Departmentment quoted the statute of limitations on awards on this one when it was originally raised.

However as we all know this was overturned when it came to the awarding of medals to the Tramore Crash crew so precedent has been set and they should be award those medals appropriate.

A more modern equivalent would have been the fire on Aisling back in the 80s when an engine room fire came close to setting off a pallet of ammunition on the after deck and two DSMs were awarded, so they are warranted.

na grohmiti
21st August 2015, 21:51
Clip of same as seen on RTE Documentary about the Naval Service made back in 1996.

https://youtu.be/0mzwGIXgfTg

ancientmariner
22nd August 2015, 01:04
The XO was tasked on the ships FIRE Plan as i/c incident. He actually became hands on and was fighting the fire himself with one hose and a party of bucket armed coolers trying to stop re-ignition.The fortunate thing was the fuel tanks were full of fuel expanded by heat and no oxygen to ignite otherwise we were all history.
Time curtailments on granting awards are just a misuse of power. Both will someday be gone forever.

na grohmiti
22nd August 2015, 01:43
It seems to me that it happened in an era where the state was reluctant to encourage praise for any action which may have highlighted it's shortcomings. Jadotville being another fine example. An Army unit acted heroically in defending their post until there was no option but surrender. When they got home the attitude seemed to be that they should have fought with their bare hands instead of facing the shame of being taken prisoner by local militants.
This of course was also a time when Irelands favourite alcoholics, the Dubliners, topped the charts with their song mocking the Navy. And the state were happy to go along with that status quo.
The story must be told. The heroism must be rewarded.

Ex-Boeing Driver
22nd August 2015, 02:02
Hear hear, all on board LE CLIONA did their job as professional Naval Service personnel, no less or more than their counterparts in other Navies of the world...........RN or RCN in WW2 incidents for example..........
If crew , officers or Commanders show duty , leadership or courage above and beyond their normal daily duties it is only right that they are commended and rewarded in a manner equal to and in step with other armed forces worldwide.We have a relatively new small Navy but we have so much potential.Ireland should be more than proud of her Irish Naval Service, we are doing great humanitarian work in the Med , tonne for tonne we seem to be "punching above our weight".

Sluggie
22nd August 2015, 02:22
The XO was tasked on the ships FIRE Plan as i/c incident. He actually became hands on and was fighting the fire himself with one hose and a party of bucket armed coolers trying to stop re-ignition.The fortunate thing was the fuel tanks were full of fuel expanded by heat and no oxygen to ignite otherwise we were all history.
Time curtailments on granting awards are just a misuse of power. Both will someday be gone forever.

I didn't realise that you were THAT ancient a mariner!

na grohmiti
22nd August 2015, 11:18
Incoming!!

ancientmariner
22nd August 2015, 13:08
But standing on a firm foundation of ,I hope, unbiased opinion and a fantastic Maritime Library of books and memories!

jack nastyface
22nd August 2015, 16:17
Sounds like a good example of damage control alright. They do deserve some recognition.I wonder was the cause from the settings on the DC's not being set properly?

na grohmiti
22nd August 2015, 17:35
I am concerned at the campaign for the awarding of these medals, retrospectively. While the motives are clear, the manner in which they are carrying on is, in my opinion, counter productive.

http://www.irishseamensrelativesassociation.com/Le_Cliona.htm

They launched their campaign relatively recently (by their own account) and got the support of all people, Clare Daly, who was quick to say she submitted a dail question on the matter. Hello Luv, the Dail is not sitting at the moment. Don't expect an answer until Late September. The English Parlimentary party too have offered their support. They seem to consist of a prolific Letter to the times writer based in Trinity College. Otherwise, just another nutter, albeit with letters and a large collection of British Public school ties and blazers. Anyone heard of Gerald Morgan?

They open their campaign by criticising the Minister they are hoping to convince. That is not the way to move forward.
"Irish Minister for Defence Turns His Back On Forgotten Irish Naval Heroes of LÉ Cliona - SHAMEFUL". That attitude is hardly going to change minds?
There seems to be some axe-grinding with regards to Captain Pete Kavanagh also, and the author, who may or may not be Peter Mulvany feels that this man should have done more during his time to ensure these men were properly recognised. True, but hardly appropriate now given he is long dead.
There is a way to deal with these matters, and you have to do it in a dignified manner, otherwise you sully the reputation of those you are trying to honour.

Bravo20
22nd August 2015, 19:13
Well they are only going about the way everyone else who wanted previous decisions or lack of decisions re-examined, make a big public stink about it. It is how the survivors of Niemba finally got their recognition, Jadotville was finally considered a good thing, and the deserters during WW2 got their grovelling apology.

na grohmiti
22nd August 2015, 20:53
Big stink is one thing, but pissing off the decision makers won't help your case either.

Bravo20
22nd August 2015, 21:12
Appeasing them won't help either

CTU
22nd August 2015, 21:20
Well if someone you didn't know came up to you, insulted you and then asked for something, would your response by any chance rhyme with duck off.

ancientmariner
22nd August 2015, 21:21
There may have been lack of bottle by some of those in charge. Outcomes of Courts of Inquiry could be fraught as there was a punitive mindset deciding the outcomes for the participants. One non-swimmer officer was rapped for not wearing his tin hat and lifejacket as per exercise opord. The lifejacket was given away to a visitor and the helmet is not noted for it's floating characteristics! PK was a good man and was glad to escape green wrath and not rock the boat. The philosophy was don't draw attention or wrath on the Navy, as they were regarded as embryonic in military and administrative skills. But that was then and we are here now fully fledged and ready.
My vintage are proud of Pat and Willie and wish them a happy outcome.

na grohmiti
3rd October 2015, 14:24
The DoD seem to be having a change of mind about this, I understand.

No coincidence that the New CoS is a Naval man.

hptmurphy
3rd October 2015, 19:51
The DoD seem to be having a change of mind about this, I understand.

No coincidence that the New CoS is a Naval man.

I think there is to much of case being made especially around how the statute of limitations was over looked for the Tramore Accident crew, and some reminding how DSMs were awarded back in 1981 to tow crew on LE Aisling for a similar occurrence.

Lesson to those in the DoD not to try do battle with people who have very specific information and good memories.

I think Peter Mulvany is to be congratulated on his presentation and sheer doggedness of the case,

ancientmariner
29th March 2016, 21:06
I think there is to much of case being made especially around how the statute of limitations was over looked for the Tramore Accident crew, and some reminding how DSMs were awarded back in 1981 to tow crew on LE Aisling for a similar occurrence.

Lesson to those in the DoD not to try do battle with people who have very specific information and good memories.

I think Peter Mulvany is to be congratulated on his presentation and sheer doggedness of the case,

The 1st APRIL is almost upon us and we continue to await the exceedingly slow resolution of an obviously well earned recognition of L.E. Cliona's crew members bravery and dedication. At least one of the brave few is in his 80's. Perhaps somebody in authority will sign off and implement the required action.

ancientmariner
8th July 2016, 19:00
The 1st APRIL is almost upon us and we continue to await the exceedingly slow resolution of an obviously well earned recognition of L.E. Cliona's crew members bravery and dedication. At least one of the brave few is in his 80's. Perhaps somebody in authority will sign off and implement the required action.

I believe four Naval personnel, who were on board LE Cliona, and were recognised as having done exemplary acts, to save the ship, on 29th May 1962, are each to receive a SCROLL, one posthumously , and also a suitable inscribed plaque will be unveiled. If the memorial occasion is in Haulbowline, I hope the elderly will be transported to the base by suitable means. BZ to my shipmates.

Rhodes
8th July 2016, 19:25
I believe four Naval personnel, who were on board LE Cliona, and were recognised as having done exemplary acts, to save the ship, on 29th May 1962, are each to receive a SCROLL, one posthumously , and also a suitable inscribed plaque will be unveiled. If the memorial occasion is in Haulbowline, I hope the elderly will be transported to the base by suitable means. BZ to my shipmates.

Details was posted on another thread a few months ago.


DAIL ANSWERS Tuesday 17th May 2016

Naval Service

1220. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of a pending report on the circumstances surrounding an incident on the LÉ Cliona in May 1962; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10510/16]

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): In light of a number of representations and parliamentary questions received in relation to the incident on board the LÉ Cliona on 29 May 1962, my predecessor, Minister Coveney requested that the Chief of Staff have the circumstances surrounding the incident reviewed. A Board was duly convened by the Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) on 13 October 2015.

The Board’s report recommended that Lieutenant O'Mahony, Able Stoker Mynes and two others, Chief E.R.A. Egan and Chief Stoker O’Callaghan, be presented with a letter/scroll of Commendation (posthumously in the case of Chief Stoker O’Callaghan) for their brave and decisive actions in bringing the fire on board the LÉ Cliona under control. The report also recommended that the ship’s company should be publically acknowledged particularly for the team effort made in ensuring the safe return of the ship to port, once the fire had been brought under control.

Following consideration of the report, Minister Coveney accepted the report’s recommendations and, to this end, it is intended to hold a ceremony in Haulbowline Naval Base at which the scrolls of commendation will be presented and a plaque will be unveiled in acknowledgment of the team effort of the ship’s company in relation to the incident.

ancientmariner
12th July 2016, 09:59
Details was posted on another thread a few months ago.

Very nice! however a recipient was only informed around the 7th July in a confirmation letter, that he was getting the proposed award.

ancientmariner
2nd September 2016, 17:03
Very nice! however a recipient was only informed around the 7th July in a confirmation letter, that he was getting the proposed award.

At last there is recognition for a job well done in fighting a fire aboard LE Cliona, On 29th May 1962 , resulting in saving the ship and returning her and her crew safely to port. I,m delighted they had their day of Honour richly deserved and broadcast to the Nation.