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At noon today, the 15th of May, the Irish Naval vessel L.É. William Butler Yeats (P63) will depart Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin and return to routine security operations at sea, completing an unbroken presence by the Naval Service since the 15th of March, where it has operated a COVID-19 Community Testing Centre in support of the HSE.

Since the 15th of March, Naval Service vessels have acted in support of the HSE in Dublin, Galway and Cork, with L.É. Samuel Beckett the first to enter Dublin, L.É. William Butler Yeats in Galway on the 17th of March and L.É. Eithne in Cork. In total six vessels have rotated through the three ports.

Throughout Operation ‘FORTITUDE’, the Defence Forces operation in response to COVID19, Naval vessels have been supported by personnel from our Naval Service Reserve.

Over the last nine weeks, Naval Service Ships have supported the HSE and the National Ambulance Service in conducting almost 6,000 COVID-19 Tests in the National Effort to fight against the spread of the virus.

The Naval Service have completed a handover with their Army colleagues who will now operate the COVID19 testing centre at the Aviva Stadium as the Defence Forces continues to assist the HSE.