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Ó Snodaigh pays tribute to the Irish Navy’s humanitarian role in the Mediterranean

28 September, 2016 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin’s Defence Spokesperson Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh has paid tribute to Irish navy personnel whose deployment in the Mediterranean has saved the lives of countless refugees fleeing conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh was speaking during parliamentary questions this week in the Dáil when he asked Defence Minister Paul Keogh to confirm the LÉ James Joyce’s replacement now that its mission in the Mediterranean was coming to an end.

The Dublin South Central TD said:

“The humanitarian mission being undertaken by our navy in the Mediterranean has resulted in the recovery of more than 12,500 migrants whose desperate plight in war torn countries has forced them to make the hazardous journey to Europe.

“I welcome the Minister’s statement that the LE Samuel Beckett been deployed to the Mediterranean to replace the LE James Joyce’s and I wish the crew all very best as they embark on what is a very challenging deployment.

“Our navy’s role is even more important in the wake of the deal signed between the EU and Turkey that is forcing increasing numbers of people to take the more dangerous Libya to Italy route. 

“In light of the increased militarisation of the EU Frontex mission and escalating NATO operations in the region, it is important that we steadfastly refuse to participate in these military missions now or at any time in the future and that instead we must remain fully committed to search and rescue missions.” 

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