The sudden appearance of a British navy vessel in Cork Harbor as relations between Ireland and the UK seriously deteriorate has prompted some jokes about Leeside.
HMS Enterprise is currently moored in the heart of Cork City, on Horgan’s Quay, where it pilots both the Union Jack and the Irish Tricolor (as do ships visiting foreign ports as a courtesy to their hosts) .
The good news is that while Ireland, the EU and the UK are on the brink of a possible ‘trade war’ over the Northern Ireland Protocol, the Royal Navy has only friendly intentions. in the harbor that once housed the fleets that guarded the western approaches to the Empire.
HMS Enterprise is a Royal Navy Echo-class multi-role hydrographic and oceanographic vessel (SVHO) and alongside surveying and charting the depths of the ocean has been involved in numerous humanitarian and emergency in recent years, including the rescue of more than 2,400 migrants and refugees attempting to cross from war-torn Libya to Italy during the crisis in the North African country in 2015.
In 2020, HMS Enterprise was sent to Beirut to help with emergency relief operations after the huge explosion at a fertilizer storage facility on the docks devastated much of the Lebanese capital.
She is in Cork for a courtesy visit – but the sudden arrival of the British Navy at a time when the row over Northern Ireland protocol is causing much friction between Ireland and the UK has prompted comments ironic – including speculation about the intentions of a navy that did not leave Cork’s two “treaty ports” – Spike Island and Bere Island – until 1938.
The good news for the people of Cork is that the Roya Navy is just a friendly call and they also hailed the Irish Defense Force Naval Service when visiting our south coast.
The crew of the Enterprise – the 11th British Navy ship to bear that famous name – met some of their Irish counterparts from the LÉ James Joyce yesterday.
You can see the Enterpise, moored at Horgan’s Quay opposite the station, today and is expected to sail down the harbor shortly at high tide.