Be More with the Navy

Really pleased to have an article "#BeMore with the Naval Service" in this months An Cosantóir. You can read the entire magazine via the link at the bottom of this post. It's great to have the opportunity to explore the Navy Technical Recruitment, Retention, and Regeneration Cell (TRRRC) where I work. The Defence Forces are... Continue Reading →

Corvette echoes.

The island of Haulbowline is filled with history. Each stone and step, every nook and cranny, from the lowest ebb of the tide on now silent slips, to the lofty reaches of the visual signaling tower. This rich history can fade into the background, drowned out by the hustle and bustle of the modern age.... Continue Reading →

The Fate of the PVs.

Reproduced here with the kind permission of the Editor of An Cosantóir, this is my article which featured in Special Commemorative Edition on the occasion of the Naval Service 75th Anniversary. They were the ships onboard which a generation of sailors came of age, and they lead the way for others to follow. Built in... Continue Reading →

75 Years of Service.

Reproduced here with the kind permission of the Editor of An Cosantóir, this is my article which featured in Special Commemorative Edition on the occasion of the Naval Service 75th Anniversary. The celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Naval Service is a milestone in the long and rich history of service. No celebration could... Continue Reading →

Over the Deck

Twelve feet above the deck,The smell can make you gag,Five hundred salt water soaked,Unwashed humans in forty degrees, Make a few bad jokes to cover up your shame,That your stomach churned at scabies riddled teenager,Sunglasses will hide guilty eyes,To mask your revulsion, Overcompensate later by giving an extra ration,To a brown-eyed child,Draped from shoulder to... Continue Reading →

21st Day of September.

On the 21st day of September, on the international day of peace, conflicts rage across the planet, people die from twenty cent Czech bullets, five Yuan Chinese machetes, two hundred Ruble Belorussian boots, six hundred Dollar vigilante assault rifles, as well as one hundred and seventy thousand dollar bombs, a response to headlines screaming terror,... Continue Reading →

Alone

Alone. In that empty lifejacket,adrift upon the sea,was lost child or brother,borne away so far,to die alone,reduced to a statistic, Meaningless data thrown up,racing endless streams of television,infographic footnotes risk all,carrying dreams,daring tomorrows,out on the waves, Driven by the eternal motion,as the grains all settle back,washing final footprints from the sand,no mother’s tears will wet... Continue Reading →

The Master’s Dog

The Master's Dog Guilty looks from left to right, glancing over sunken shoulders, ensuring fitting purity for the words, filthy black bastard, it rolls out of yellowed mouth, hits the deck like a seagulls shit, always seeking their approval, like a dog aching for the Master's hand, such a common thing, delivered with the snigger... Continue Reading →

Nomad

Nomad. Dancing in the shade of a warship, miles from anywhere, a weary little nomad, alighting to take refuge on the dark grey timber, worn out and staggering, Rest, be at peace, staring fascinated, remembering in the haze of this beautiful dusk, past summers spent at home, Lying in the rough grass, lost in the... Continue Reading →

Ever Present Danger

Ever Present Danger. The smoke is acrid, thick and hot. It forms an oppressive layer above the lurid yellow helmets of the firefighting team. Heat radiates from the burning fire in the corner of the cabin in front of them. The noise of the water as it bounces of the deckhead and deck is deafening, the steel structure reverberates and the team leaders shouts out his commands through the life persevering facemask of his breathing apparatus. All commands have a purpose, each given with an intensity befitting the seriousness of the situation; while each response is repeated quickly and verbatim, once the command has been executed the team leader is informed immediately. There is no place for an individual here; only by working as a team will these five sailors fight their way through hatches and down ladders, deeper into the burning vessel they press on, negotiating the total darkness to find the seat of the fire. Their shipmates’ lives depend upon it.

Cogadh na Saoirse: Ar Muir is ar Tír.

A Changed World.
In 1919, the war to end all wars was over. The 19th of January saw the start of peace negotiations in Paris, which would culminate in the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June. This momentous year saw the drafting of the covenant of the League of Nations, the surrender and scuttling of the German high seas fleet in Scapa Flow. It also on the 21st of January saw the first Dáil sit in the Mansion House in Dublin, where they declared Irish Independence in fulfilment of the goals of the grand heroic failure of the 1916 Easter Rising. Also on that fateful day in Soloheadbeg, volunteers of the 3rd Tipperary Brigade under the command of Seán Treacy and Dan Breen, ambushed and shot two constables of the Royal Irish Constabulary. The first two dead men of an estimated 1,400 deaths between 1919 and 1921. While most of the fighting occurred on land across Ireland, the sea had a major role to play in both the Rising and the War of Independence.
Lonely Edge of Europe.
Ireland holds a geostrategic maritime position on the lonely edge of Europe, facing out into the North Atlantic where the European and North American sea lanes veritably bustle with all manner of shipping. At the turn of the century, Ireland's seas and maritime domain where under the firm control of the British Empire and the might of the Royal Navy. The ports and deep sheltered harbours of Cork, Berehaven and Lough Swilly, protected by massive forts and coastal artillery batteries, had played their part in centuries of British domination of the high seas and from these ports where shipped troops to fight in Britain's many wars. Many a period of rebelliousness across Ireland was subdued by forces shipped from these Naval installations, helping to underpin the British presence in Ireland as the dark clouds of war gathered on the European horizon. Those clouds burst in August 1914.

Valletta 

Valletta.Sun burns down on city streets,bringing in the light, beauty,in the shadows, mystery,lost in ancient rows of homes and steps,cracked flagstones balanced one upon the other,or rooted into living rock,tight alleyways frame views of a wave tossed harbour,an artist might go blind from the wonders,or mad from the ceaseless wind.

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