Navy to return to Mediterranean to combat people-smuggling

The Cabinet will today approve the redeployment of the Naval Service to the Mediterranean Sea to hunt down people-smugglers to ‘search and destroy’ their pipelines from Libya into southern Europe, while still saving the hapless men, women, and children who are sent out to their near-certain deaths in leaking dinghies.

Navy to return to Mediterranean to combat people-smuggling

The minister with responsibilty for defence, Paul Kehoe, is expected to get full support from his Cabinet colleagues to send Irish navy ships to the Mediterranean Sea where tens of thousands of mainly African and Syrian migrants have drowned in recent years trying to get to a better life in Europe,

The Naval Service, which has to date saved 18,017 migrant lives, was intially involved in a purely humanitairian rescue Operation Pontus, but it changed last year when the government agreed to switch to the more agressive EU opertation to counter people-smuggling from war-torn Libya.

The Naval Service has been preparing for the go-ahead for the operation for several months.

It’s expected that LE Samuel Beckett will be the first ship to deploy to the Mediterranean Sea this year.

Sources say that it will deploy in early April and be skippered by Lieutenant Commander Eoin Smyth.

After her eight week tour of duty it will be replaced by LE James Joyce.

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