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Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe,T.D., Presents Scrolls of Commendation To Former Crew Members of the LÉ Cliona

The Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe,T.D., today (Thursday, 1 September 2016) presented Scrolls of Commendation to former crew members of the LÉ Cliona at a ceremony held on board the L.É. Niamh in Dublin.

Following a recent review by the military authorities into an incident on board the LÉ Cliona on 29 May 1962, the Minister for Defence agreed with the review’s recommendations that four former members of the LÉ Cliona’s crew, Lieutenant Pat O’Mahony, Able Stoker Bill Mynes, Chief E.R.A. Maurice Egan and Chief Stoker Gerry O’Callaghan, be presented with a scroll of Commendation (posthumously in the case of Chief Stoker O’Callaghan) for their brave and decisive actions in bringing a serious fire on board the ship under control.

On 29 May 1962, the LÉ Cliona was participating in a live fire exercise south of Roches Point when she suffered damage following the explosion of a depth charge which had been dropped during the course of the exercise. Leaking oil ignited which resulted in a serious fire onboard the vessel. Through the brave actions of those being honoured today the fire was eventually extinguished without any fatalities.

Before presenting the scrolls Minister Kehoe praised the former Naval Service members “…each one of these four men fearlessly faced difficulty, danger, and pain while successfully extinguishing the fire that had taken hold on board the LÉ Cliona. The swift and selfless endeavours of each one of these four men ensured that tragedy was avoided and not a single life was lost.”

Minister Kehoe also paid tribute to “…the tremendous team effort that was made by the ship’s company.  They ensured the safe return of the ship to port, once the fire had been brought under control. Even with the passage of time, their endeavours are not forgotten. I am delighted that I will have the opportunity of unveiling a plaque in recognition of their sterling work, in Haulbowline Naval Base, at the end of this month”.