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Naval Service

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 13 May 2021

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Ceisteanna (45)

John Brady


45. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Defence the current numbers of serving members in the Naval Service; and the number of occasions that Naval Service vessels were unable to take to sea due to personnel shortages. [25006/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The Naval Service is the State's principal sea-going agency and is tasked with a variety of defence and other roles. The main day-to-day role of the Naval Service is to provide a fishery protection service in accordance with the State's obligations as a member of the European Union. The Naval Service is tasked with patrolling all Irish waters from the shoreline to the outer limits of the Exclusive Economic Zone. These patrols are carried out on a regular and frequent basis and are directed to all areas of Irish waters as necessary.

On any given patrol day the Naval Service can carry out a number of taskings on behalf of other State agencies such as the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, An Garda Síochána and the Customs Service of the Revenue Commissioners.

With regard to the number of personnel in the Naval Service, the current establishment is 1,094 and, as of 31 March 2021, the effective strength of the Naval Service personnel is 900.

Scheduled patrol days can be impacted by a range of factors including adverse weather conditions, unscheduled maintenance as well as staffing issues. The table below sets out the number of patrol days completed in 2021 up to the end of April against the number of scheduled patrol days cancelled.


Number of Fishery Protection Patrol Days carried out


Number of Non-Fishery Protection Patrol Days carried out


Scheduled Patrol Days Lost: Mechanical Reasons


Scheduled Patrol Days Lost: Personnel Issues (including impacts of Covid-19)


Question No. 46 answered with Question No. 40.