The committee of In Humbert’s Footsteps, Mayo’s flagship Gathering event, have welcomed the announcement that the Irish navy’s flagship vessel, the LÉ Eithne, has been made available by Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter to take part in the August festival.
The vessel will sail into Kilcummin, Mayo (weather permitting ) on Saturday August 17 and will provide a wonderful backdrop to what promises to be an exciting re-enactment of the events of 1798.
Mayo native Commodore Mark Mellett (DSM ), Flag Officer Commanding Naval Services said: “I am delighted that the Minister for Defence and the Chief of Staff have sanctioned the use of the Irish naval service flagship LÉ Eithne for the Gathering event In Humbert's Footsteps. The defence forces are privileged to be associated with such a historic undertaking. Personally I would like to commend the organisers for their vision in conceiving the idea and remembering this event which is of such historical significance.”
Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin has also welcomed the announcement. “I became aware that the organisers of the In Humbert’s Footsteps Gathering were hoping to have a naval service presence at the re-enactment of the 1798 French landings and I was delighted to make the request personally to the Minister for Defence, Deputy Alan Shatter. As all Government departments are fully supportive of Gathering events, Minister Shatter confirmed to me that he had no hesitation in giving his approval once operational requirements were examined.
“The naval service is always popular with the public whenever it attends a public event such as this and the presence of LÉ Eithne will be a huge boost to this Gathering. As well as attracting the public, the naval service presence will be of interest to crew members of other seagoing vessels who may decide to visit Killala and attend some of the other In Humbert’s Footsteps events across Mayo.”