Irish Naval vessel heads to Mediterranean to support search and rescue of migrants and refugees

The ship was primarily used for fishery protection

The Irish naval vessel LE Roisin - named after Róisín Dúbh, the daughter of Red Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone in the late 16th Century - is being deployed to the Mediterranean.

The sixty strong crew will leave Haulbowline in Co Cork on Sunday to assist the Italian authorities in the search and rescue activities involving migrants and refugees.

The Government expects that the Naval Service will be deployed in the Mediterranean until mid-July.

Further Irish navy vessels may be sent later in the year.

Róisín previously took part in a surveillance operation of the yacht Makayabella in September 2014 before it was boarded 200 miles (320 km) off Mizen Head, Cork and subsequently had €80m worth of cocaine seized.