Visits from foreign naval vessels are a long-standing and common practice in Ireland and worldwide.
Foreign naval vessels are granted permission by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to visit Irish ports on condition that they meet the necessary policy stipulations. This requires that visiting naval vessels do not carry nuclear weapons and do not engage in military exercises.
The three Royal Navy University training boats, named HMS Explorer, Archer and Example were in Ireland as part of a routine visit and Irish Naval Service personnel availed of an opportunity to conduct navigation training exercises in Dublin Bay on the date in question.
The Ireland-UK Memorandum of Understanding on defence and security co-operation provides for bilateral engagement on exercises, training and military education.