The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Rt. Rev. Dr. Frank Sellar, has visited the Irish Naval Service at its base at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour.
During his visit Dr. Sellar met officers, NCO’s and ratings on L.É James Joyce (P62), one of the Service’s three Offshore Patrol Vessels.
It returned to the Naval Base in September after being deployed in the Mediterranean for three months.
Dr. Sellar explained that he first met members of the Defence Forces in 1999 in the Middle East. “I was with one of my predecessors as Moderator who was on a pastoral visit to the Irish Army in Lebanon, who were there as part of the United Nations peace keeping force. It was a privilege to meet their counterparts in the Navy.
“My visit was an opportunity to strengthen the links that the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has with all branches of the Irish Defence Forces. It was also an occasion when I could pay tribute to the Naval Service for its sterling humanitarian work in the Mediterranean, where its members have rescued 15,000 migrants in the last two years.
“As recently as the start of this month, the LÉ Samuel Beckett, sister ship of L.É James Joyce which returned to port last week, assisted in an operation that rescued around 140 migrants attempting to make the dangerous journey from north Africa,” Dr. Sellar said.