LÉ Samuel Beckett leaves for mission to counter human trafficking in Mediterranean

The Irish Naval service LÉ Samuel Beckett is departing today for the Mediterranean to take part in 'Operation Sophia'.

Ireland first joined the EU naval operation against smugglers and traffickers last October when the LÉ Niamh was deployed for a three-month mission.

Minister with Responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe says the crew will be helping to address some of the root causes of migration and human trafficking.

Mr Kehoe said: "As we all know, Operation Sophia is both a security and humanitarian mission, Ireland has been working in the central Mediterranean for the last number of years.

"It specifically seeks to counter human trafficking and smuggling in central Mediterranean and also it is taking action against the smugglers and disrupting their business that they are carrying out on a daily basis."

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