After 35 years of “outstanding service to the State” and more than 600,000 nautical miles – or 28 world circuits – the Irish Naval Servcie vessel LÉ Aoife has been decommissioned.

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At the ceremony on the quayside in Waterford City, Minister of State at the Department of Defence, Paul Keogh, paid tribute to the crew of the longest serving vessel in the fleet. He acknowledged their detention of 440 fishing vessels and 4,700 boardings at sea as part of  the vessel’s role in fishery protection as well as search and rescue missions. 

Under the replacement programme, LÉ Samuel Beckett was handed over at the end of April 2014 and LÉ James Joyce is scheduled for delivery “in the coming months,” he said.