Former Irish Navy vessel LÉ Aisling on sale for six times the price the state received for the boat

Former Irish Navy vessel LÉ Aisling is on sale in Holland at six times the price the Republic's government was paid for the boat
John Monaghan

THE former Irish Navy vessel, LÉ Aisling, is on sale in Holland for six times the price the State received for the boat.

LÉ Aisling was sold at an auction in Cork in March for €110,000 to Dick van der Kamp, a Dutch ship broker.

Mr van der Kamp, one of only two bidders for the vessel, said he planned to sell it on the international market.

It has now appeared for sale in Holland as a fisheries patrol vessel, with an asking price of $750,000, which is approximately €685,000.

The Permanent Defence Forces' Representative Association, which represents sailors in the Navy, said the sale of the vessel appears to have been a terrible deal and added that it cannot understand why a higher price was not set.

LÉ Aisling, built in 1979 and commissioned the following year, was chosen to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Pádraig Pearse.

It spent 36 years in service and amongst its many operations included the interception and arrest of the Marita Ann vessel carrying IRA arms, and the recovery of victims of the 1985 Air India bombing.

The vessel sailed more than 600,000 miles, the equivalent of 32 trips around the globe, before it was decommissioned last year.

LÉ Aisling was the fourth ship in a class designed and built in Ireland, which included the LÉ Deirdre, LÉ Emer and LÉ Aoife.

Some of the other boats sold off by the Irish Navy have attracted a substantially higher price.

LÉ Emer was sold for €320,000 in 2013 and began a new life as a Nigerian training ship, the NNS Prosperity, two years ago.

LÉ Deirdre sold for €240,000 in 2001 and has since been scrapped.

In 2015, LÉ Aoife was donated to the Maltese Armed Forces for free, despite the Republic's government reportedly being offered €500,000 for the vessel from a client in Holland.

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