Last October 16, Irish Ship “LÉ Niamh” arrived in Augusta and joined Operation SOPHIA. LÉ NIAMH was commissioned in 2001 and is the last ship in the “RÓISÍN Class” of Offshore Patrol Vessel operated by the Irish Naval Service. She is named after Niamh Cínn Ór (Niamh of the Golden Hair), a female figure from Irish mythology. In 2015, she deployed to the Mediterranean as part of OP PONTUS, a unilateral humanitarian mission conducted under a bilateral agreement between Ireland and Italy. During this deployment, LE NIAMH rescued over 2,000 people.
Four representatives of SOPHIA headquarters in Rome were detached to Augusta harbor for training the crew of the new unit, being focused on human rights and legal areas.
To be noted, this is the first time that the Irish Naval Service has ever deployed overseas as part of a multinational mission. Following the integration in the Force, Force Commander RADM Moreno visited the vessel on 18th of October, in order to meet and address a few words to her Commander and crew.