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LÉ Eithne and a Potential National Maritime Museum at Haulbowline Naval Base


It was reported last December 16th 2023, that the decommissioned vessels LÉ Eithne, LÉ Ciara and LÉ Orla are to be scrapped. The question should be asked as to why the option of utilising the vessels for Coastguard or Naval Reserve use has been ruled out by the Department of Defence. Last December, the Labour Party stated that the LÉ Eithne should be used a museum ship in principle.

 


LÉ Aisling (P23) alongside Haulbowline Storehouses, Cork © Brian Clayton


In 2007, a joint report for the Naval Service and the Heritage Council of Ireland noted the potential to include a coastal vessel (retired from service) which could be then moved alongside Block 9 ((Haulbowline Naval Base and used as a training ship for the Naval Reserve and a visitor ship(p.6. p.49).

 


© Block 9 Storehouse, NIAH. Haulbowline Naval Base, Cork


The heritage council report argued for a Maritime Museum to be located at Block 9, Haulbowline island, Cork.  (pp.1-15, introduction, Heritage Council Report). Again, the question is why the Department of Defence not giving this active consideration as the Haulbowline blocks 8 and 9 are currently being given emergency repair works and are currently unused.


In arguing in particular, for the use of Storehouse 9 as a National Maritime Museum, the HCI stated that "Storehouse No 9 it has, arguably, the earliest, and most complete, integrated cast iron framed building in Ireland."


(p.6. p.7., p.49). The Potential To Create A Naval, Or Maritime, Museum On Haulbowline Cork Harbour - Heritage Council of Ireland and Irish Naval Service

 




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