Over 10,000 people rescued by the Irish Navy in the Mediterranean

The LÉ James Joyce is the latest vessel to be deployed

Mediterranean, rescused, migrants, refugees, Irish Naval Service, Ireland, Paul Kehoe

The LÉ James Joyce | Image: Flickr/Irish Defence Forces

Some 225 people have been rescued from the Mediterranean by the Irish Naval Service in the last two days.

This brings to more than 10,000 the number of people rescued by Ireland's Naval Service, since they were first deployed to the area in May 2015.

The Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, has praised the Naval Service for their continued success in assisting with the migrant crisis.

In the period May to November 2015, a total of 8,592 people were rescued by Irish Naval vessels.

In 2016 the LÉ Róisín, which was deployed on May 1st, rescued a total of 1,264 people.

And the LÉ James Joyce - which replaced LÉ Róisín - rescued a further 63 people today, after saving 162 people yesterday.

This brings the total number of migrants and refugees rescued by the Naval Service to date to 10,081.

Also since the vessels started operations, they have provided assistance to a further 2,209 people - who were transferred from other vessels to Irish vessels, and then brought to safety.

Minister Kehoe said: "I wish to congratulate the Naval Service for the excellent role they have played in saving the lives of so many migrants since Naval Service vessels were first deployed in May 2015. The Government and I are very proud of your efforts."

"The deployment of Irish Naval vessels to the Mediterranean to engage in humanitarian search and rescue tasks is an important element in Ireland's response to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean," he added.