The Irish Navy is keeping up its presence in Galway to help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, with the LÉ William Butler Yeats being replaced by the James Joyce.
The William Butler Yeats arrived in Galway on St. Patrick’s Day to help the HSE increase its capacity for coronavirus testing in the region.
A Covid-19 test centre was established at the Port of Galway by the ship’s crew, with tents erected down by the waterfront to facilitate the test centre.
On Wednesday, the William Butler Yeats departed Galway, handing over its duties to the LÉ James Joyce, which is taking over at the test centre with the HSE.
Having arrived on St Patrick’s day, LÉ William Butler #Yeats departed #Galway earlier today. #P63’s crew & @dfreserve (#NSR) had a busy few weeks helping @HSELive establish & run a #COVID19 test centre. A handover was completed with LÉ #JamesJoyce #P62. #WeAreAllInThisTogether 🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/nGcx149RRX
— Irish Naval Service (@naval_service) April 8, 2020
The William Butler Yeats and James Joyce are two of the newest class of patrol vessels build for the Irish Naval Service in the past five years.
The Samuel Beckett the first to roll off the line in 2014, followed by the LÉ James Joyce in 2015, the LÉ William Butler Yeats in 2016, and LÉ George Bernard Shaw last year.
The modernised, Roisín Class ships are often called the playwright sisters because of their names.
The naval service is helping the health service with the national response to the coronavirus pandemic in three of Ireland’s biggest urban centres.
Outside of Galway, the LÉ Eithne is currently docked in Cork, while the LÉ Niamh is helping with the response in Dublin.
The crew of the William Butler Yeats kept on their toes during this time in the Port of Galway by continuing to carry out routine patrols while the main warship was tied up.
Last Saturday saw two saw two RHIB boats deployed to patrol Galway Bay as part of the naval service’s ongoing operations.
Continuing training & framework operations, last Saturday LÉ William Butler Yeats deployed 2 RHIBs to patrol Galway Bay as part Maritime #Defence & #Security Operations. #P63 is currently alongside @portofgalway assisting @HSELive to fight #COVID19. #WeAreAllInThisTogether 🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/lyHEbUi8h4
— Irish Naval Service (@naval_service) April 7, 2020
Outside of our current crisis, the main role of the naval service consists of patrolling Irish waters for smugglers and illegal fishing.
Ireland has also taken part in humanitarian missions rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.