Local media report that the Irish Government have opted not to pursue an incident where a Royal Navy ship instructed an Irish fishing vessel to leave grounds where it was working some 60 miles off the Donegal coast.

It is understood that The 32-metre fishing vessel Marlíona, registered in Greencastle, Co Donegal, was hailed by Type 23 Frigate HMS Lancaster on July 21st and asked to leave the area.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was investigating the incident, which had been referred to the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) by the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO).

However, the department has subsequently said the location was “not within Ireland’s territorial sea and did not, therefore, infringe our sovereignty”, say Afloat.ie.

“In general, it is not unusual for naval ships to ask other vessels in the vicinity to move away from an exercise location for safety reasons,” the department said.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said:

“Courteous and professional exchanges between the fishing vessel and frigate operating within the designated exercise area enabled this lawful exercise to continue and conclude safely. The safety of all mariners is taken extremely seriously by the Royal Navy. At no time was there a risk to safety to either the fishing vessel or submarine.”

4.4 7 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

So this is a storm in a tea cup. I assume this type of communication goes on all the time.


Same as when the Unionists and some MPs/Media in the UK went mad last year when the NS detained a couple of NI boats illegally fishing in Irish waters.


The Irish tend to get a right old hard on when anything British Military is involved.


Can’t imagine why.


The Irish better get use to these incidents along with all the other countries who might ignore post Brexit fishing limits. Fun and games ahead folks.

David Barry

What in Heaven’s name does Brexit have to do with anything?

A submarine was on exercise there!


Given the likelihood of issues with the fishing fleets there’s a good chance of issues between the NI fishing fleet and the ROI fishing fleet (remember the “outrage” some elements of the UK media had when we detained two boats last year) and possibly in the Irish Sea itself.


Yes such an outrage that this is the first that I have actually ever heard about it. There are ‘some elements’ of the press in every country including the Republic that are best to let get on with their outrage and realise that for the overwhelming majority of people its nothing to get hot about which I think has been the general reaction to this story. Equally Whatever the Irish feelings towards the British military it has a job to do and in this case it was doing a job that no doubt was to prevent an outcry later if… Read more »


I’m pretty sure I’ve read somewhere that the EU will still retain the right to take 50% of all catches in British waters afetr Brexit and that the current dispute is due to Boris wanting to cut that figure.

Anybody know if the above is true?


I would hope that the principle is that of sovereign British waters. Whether we permit vessels from the EU or any other nation to fish them is a different matter. If they pay then that might be acceptable. I am guessing it would take the UK fishing industry a while to recover its size anyway. Press rumours are suggesting a transition period. I also see we have concluded a fishing treaty with Norway. Would be interesting to know the details of that.


Do you think the RN has the numbers or inclination to chase out any EU fishing boats? Either they have to expand fishery protection/coastguard or they’ll just turn a blind eye.


A very interesting question but I would assume as we just aren’t interested in serious fishing anymore it will be more about working out which EU boats are doing so legally or otherwise than any wholesale engagement. That might be less straightforward mind.


I suspect that’s why the River 1’s where retained.

Always Right

Yes of course it has the numbers. One of the largest navies in the world remember.

Barry Larking

I think H.M. Forces know how to conduct themselves at all times in a manner befitting of their service. Incidentally, how many Irish fishermen have been rescued by the same H.M. Forces down the years?

Mr Bell

If it wasnt in their territorial waters then why the heck did they release the issue to the hysterical anti-British pro EU press?
The Royal Navy must have known the incident occurred outside of Irish territorial waters but unlike Ireland maintained professional behaviour and stuck to the facts.
Well done Royal Navy.
Shame on you Ireland. Care to apologise for your anti British rhetoric?

Daniele Mandelli

“the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO).”

Either someone within has issues. Or, maybe they have to report it in due course anyway?

Andrew Miller

When the UK leaves the EU can we also stop providing naval support & air support to Eire?!!!


a) being in the EU has nothing to do with any support the UK provides, and b) it’s just the RAF, you don’t provide any “naval support”.

Andrew Miller

Yeah. Of course…’cos Eire is renowned for its naval forces to be able to project power…


And what exactly do we need to project power towards? When has the UK done so on our behalf? The most we need is to shadow vessels if around Irish waters, something the UK uses OPVs to do at times in their own waters, or support UN/EU missions, so what exactly do you think the RN does for Ireland?

Also if you are going to randomly try to use Irish, at least spell it right or use English, unless you randomly call Germany Deutschland.

Always Right

Oh you know Mark, the Cold war, something you have never heard of. Ireland has no navy, hence the RN is the protector of its waters.

“so what exactly do you think the RN does for Ireland?”

Bit dim aren’t you Mark.

Always Right

Yes we do Mark the moron.


Doesn’t the Irish rely on the British armed forces for protection?


The RAF intercept Russian planes along the West Coast, but that’s it.The RN doesn’t have any involvement.

Always Right

That’s not “it”. You rely on the RAF entirely for protection. Intercepting of Russian planes is simply one thing they do regularly.