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Open Day

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  • Open Day

    My thanks and congratulations to all the members of The NS who made this day a very memorable day for me..I met many of my former class mates ...shipmates and peers and was truly honoured to be remembered amongst their ranks .

    It was strange to find young people serving on ships that were visited and crewed by people who had served on these vessels from their inception.... strange to find people who did not know the depravations of the past ..but who sympathised with the plight of their fore bearers.

    I was enlightened to see people carrying on unquestionably what had been previously thought as mere tradition to them it is a way of life

    Much has changed but the core qualities of the people in service hasn't changed

    I met the man who enlisted me in the SM many years ago who has retired but still looks as fit and healthy as he did twenty years ago...and I want to thank the Officers who treated me so well on my discharge from the NS.. the guys I served with and have been promoted through the ranks that we only dreamed off..and the guys who stayed through thick and thin to make the NS its today...a highly respected force.

    My self and a former colleague..who also posts... here stood on the flag deck of the LE Aoife...he had served on her ..I had not ..we watched his kids being looked after by the guys on the deck.and we were both agreed...we were both impressed...and ****ing well proud to have served in this service.

    I photographed the old billets but would not go inside for fear that I would recognise the place where he punched out the wall in his frustration....

    John I miss you......

    The NS has done itself proud and all members of the DF whether they be reserve of permanent have the right to be proud...Whilst i can't speak for the entire DF...Any one who has passed through this way of life should be proud.

    On a sadder note it has been brought to my attention that some of the former members have fallen on hard times...they did their bit if some one rattles acollection box in your face to help these guys out throw them a few quid......there were once as we were.....

    An Serbhis Cabhlaigh...The Naval Service
    Covid 19 is not over's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

  • #2
    nice one murph - pity we didn't hook up - remember next year is the 60th big party


    • #3
      50th seemed like only yesterday.

      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


      • #4
        I feel I have to add to Murph's comments on the whole day. I too am so proud to have been part of the "NS experience". The whole day reminded me of the "family" that is the Naval Service. More than any other unit in the Defence Forces, I suspect, the Naval Service is a family. Personnel who served and who have moved on, are welcomed back with open arms. Anyone who has served on a Patrol vessel feels she belongs to him, and he to her. It's a very weird feeling. Standing on the bridge of P22, talking to the new "minders" ...For indeed it is true. We only minded these ships for the next generation who are now looking after them

        I felt proud also, looking at the various photographs of servicemen and women too, who performed their duties to the best of their abilities. Men and women who sacrificed a lot. Men like Mick Quinn, who paid the ultimate price. And I felt proud that I had served with these people.

        I know it sounds like I'm on a rant, but while I was talking to Murph on Saturday, I couldnt help but feel a tingle go down my spine. Watching the crew look after my kids, taking the time to explain the workings of the ship to them, made me feel ever so proud, and I couldnt help but feel that the Service is in very safe hands for the foreseeable future.

        I was also reminded of those guys who enlisted with us twenty years ago, and who have now gone onto their eternal reward. May they all Rest in Peace.


        • #5
          well guys , that was really well said indeed.


          • #6
            Murph and SBA. What were your impressions of the physical changes to the Island? eg dining hall, messes, Maritime college etc.


            • #7
              I have to say I was mightily impressed with the changes to the Island. The dining hall was being built just as I was leaving, but it's fairly spectacular compared to the dump which preceded it! The drill shed was renovated before I left, but something new to me was Hero Row, up near the old wardroom. Completely rebuilt. New Car park near the Oil Wharf, which is very handy! Before, you had cars parked all over the place. At least now, the roads are kept clear.

              All in all, the old place is looking very well. A lot of money seems to have been pumped in, and it shows.


              • #8
                the base has come on tons in the last few years but lets face it need too.The base as I remember it was a cold dreary empty place...and as a result guys who were livivg in ..looked forward to time on ships at least you had hot water and somewhere to make a cup of tea and there was always someone around for company.

                The celtic tiger certainly passed through the naval base for the college...unbelieveable..we now have traing facilities that put us on a par with any of the larger navies....

                you can actually take the whole set up seriuosly and be proud of it.

                Lets hope the powers that be never let it return to the bad old days..
                Covid 19 is not over's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe


                • #9
                  I understand seamen from foreign navies are now doing exchanges with the Irish NS. In the past it was the other way around,our lads had to go to the UK to learn the basics.

                  Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


                  • #10
                    is anybody going to post any pics from the open day? would be nice to see how the day went.


                    • #11
                      No in the past our junior officers had to pass the international sub lieutenants course in the royal coollege at datmoth...tyhe other courses were incidental...the gunnery instructors went to Whale Isalnd to test the GamBos...but all other courses were merely as attachmnets rather than formal qualifications .

                      the subbys thing was brought back here in the late eighties ..but initially there was a notable difference in the qualifiers...but after about 88 they sent them back to the uk again..but this was halted in the mid 90s..and the difference is no longer as notable.

                      Interestingly a former naval Diving officer came out tops of a NATO led clearance diving course but could not be recognised as we were only there as observers.
                      Covid 19 is not over's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe


                      • #12
                        who was he ?


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by the babs
                          is anybody going to post any pics from the open day? would be nice to see how the day went.
                          It wouldn't be an open day unless I was there,taking photos.

                          Well this time around I decided to Bring my girlfriend(who never bores easily) and told my parents about the opening,so much of the day was spent preventing the above from meeting.
                          RDF MPs acted as parking attendants,and directed us to a place where there were no spaces. Nice job lads...
                          After finding a space for myself we moved onto the Oil wharf where Aisling and Aoife were tied up.

                          I was Piped aboard L.E. Aisling (as is befitting a person of my ego) by one HPT Murphy,who was suffering from a serious case of nostalgia. Compared to last year however, there seemed to be less organisation as far as tours went,and there was less of the Ship open to the "Public" which consisted mostly of exers family and friends of the NS.

                          Murf took photos of me playing with the Ganbo...

                          While admiring my girlfriends cleavage at the same time...

                          We moved on past the Oil wharf,Boat transport pier and magic show(is that a permanent fixture?) to the Drill shed/gym, where a number of very informative stands were in place. On our way there we passed a number of Bofors 40mm L60 which were removed from the PVs in the last few years,replaced by L70s.

                          Among the stands in the Drill shed was a simulator for the HMG,which allowed any children(or adult) present to try their hand at shooting down a passing heli,with the associated noise. The EOD were there too,with their HOBO showing off to the visitors.

                          I spoke also to a Naval Cadet soon to be comissioned(next thursday) who manned a recruitment stand and enthusaistically sold a career in the NS to anyone who was interested. In the background,a recruitment video showed the heavy seas Roisin experienced on her way to the aid Of the canadian sub Chicotumi, which caused significant damage to her bow(as detailed elsewhere on this board).
                          The George Crosbie branch of the ONE also had a stand, and these old sailors later in the week joined L.E. Eithne for a regular day trips when they told the crews of today how it was done in their day. These men suffered much undocumented hardship to make the Naval service the proud force that it is today.
                          Most notable,for me, was the stand that had drawings of each of the current vessels in the fleet, with deck layouts, in addition to a Powerpoint display which outlined the Future Naval fleet,and the replacement programme(detailed elsewhere on this board).

                          Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


                          • #14
                            After dodging the Parents again we went outdoors to the Main square,which was looking fantastic on the sunny day that we had.

                            On this was a number of stands. First to Visit was the Military Police one. Sadly the RDF MPs on this stand were too busy chatting each other up to bother helping any member of the public visiting with their queries. Lots of gear on display,but nobody willing to tell you what any of it was for.
                            Opposite this was a solitary Bofors 40mm L70 of the Air defence Battery(RDF) who recently moved to Haulbowline from Cobh.

                            4AD Bty HQ

                            A good move for them as they use the same weapons as the NS,and have the advantage of all their simulators. A HMG was on a table on display, with attached Belt of Drill rounds. This would be the secondary armament of the newer Naval vessels, not equipped with a 20mm gun of some type.

                            Next to this was a display of the Naval rotary wing unit.

                            These miniature craft are used to train gun crews in anti aircraft gunnery. However because of the skill of naval gunners,they are down to 2 serviceable craft, with 2 being downed by fire.... Nice shooting.
                            The next stop was the Dining complex,where refreshments were had. G.I Josephine made an appearance at this stage with her young apprentice,and complained like myself of the absence of anyone to provide information on the equipment on display. It was about 1500hrs at this stage.
                            We headed off on a little tour of the island, visiting the Visual signalling tower, with its stunning 360degree view of the harbour.

                            And passing the Bouncing castles outside the wardroom where the same larger white shirted children as last year fought with the smaller kids to be king of their castle....

                            A quick stop off in the Dining complex for refreshments,before making our way to the car. Stopped in the Tardis Like church, where the pennants of all former Naval vessels are laid up(as well as those of the Marine service).

                            Final stop was to the Basin,on the east of the Island, where work is beginning on the dismantling of the Eyesore that is Irish Steel.

                            NSR MTLs Freya and Aine Laoi are seen here tied up next to STY Tailte.

                            In summary, the Open day was excellent,the only complaint was the lack of actual NS people to give information to those who needed it.

                            Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


                            • #15
                              if you knew the people you would have known who to to the babs..if you were in the know you would know.Thansk for the photies goldie..the weather was very kind..and it was a fantastic day!

                              Willie Braine will be hearing from.....editor Cosantoir...he joined the same day I did andy where are all those bodies gone ..we want a reunion...
                              Covid 19 is not over's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe