Ireland's Navy flagship, LÉ Eithne, has been involved in its first migrant rescue in the Mediterranean.
Defence Minister Simon Coveney said that the vessel has rescued 88 migrants from a craft in the Mediterranean and is on its way to recovering more from a second craft.
The Minister said: "LÉ Eithne under the command of her captain, Commander Pearse O’Donnell, and her crew are providing an invaluable asset in assisting with the Mediterranean migrant crisis.
"The operation today demonstrates clearly the value of our participation in this important humanitarian mission."
LE Eithne crew members help rescue migrants today.
The Navy vessel was alerted to five craft in potential distress around 60km off the coast of Libya.
LÉ Eithne has been tasked by the Italian coastguard to recover the occupants of two of the vessels and other Naval vessels in the area are responding to the remaining three migrant vessels.
The Minister confirmed: "LÉ Eithne has completed the rescue of 88 personnel from the first craft with more expected from the second vessel, which is currently in progress."
LE Eithne has rescued at least 88 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya - playing a very effective role with Italian Navy— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) May 28, 2015
The Irish Naval vessel is providing medical assistance, food, water and dry clothes to those in need and will transfer them safely to port in Italy as soon as possible.