10/08/2005

Royal Navy weigh anchor in Carlingford Lough

The Royal Navy is to abandon a mooring formerly maintained on Carlingford Lough for a patrol vessel.

The mooring near the centre of the Lough which straddles the border was formerly used by a modified Hunt class mine countermeasures vessel to maintain a presence on the Lough of a contingent of Royal Marines who regularly conducted searches of vessels and pleasure craft using the Lough.

In 1979 a short distance further up the Lough at Narrow Water Castle near to Warrenpoint an IRA bomb attack killed 18 soldiers in the worst single attack on military personnel.

The bomb, concealed in a trailer load of straw was triggered from the southern side of the watercourse, caught the soldiers as they passed.

The Royal Navy confirmed to the News Letter that the regular rotation of a patrol vessel stationed on the mooring had ceased in April and that the expense of maintaining the mooring could no longer be justified.

Each of the modified vessels had a complement of around 48 on board, one third were Royal Marines.

(SP/MB)

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