Ex-politician arrested after trying to board Royal Navy warship HMS Enterprise in Ireland
Diarmai Ó Cadhla, 61, was dragged to Cork District Court on Friday following an incident involving the survey vessel HMS Enterprise.
The 61-year-old former People’s Convention adviser was filmed trying to climb the Enterprise’s gangway before being stopped by armed sailors guarding the ship, in footage shared on social networks.
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During the seven-minute recording, Mr Ó Cadhla, of Upper Beaumont Drive, Ballintemple, Cork, is seen taunting sailors from the dock.
He said: “Hello people here from Sunny Cork City where [there is] a terrible offensive image here. What we see is a NATO and British warship.
“You see here soldiers armed with automatic weapons… Now anyone who has ever been in the armed forces will know that you only carry a weapon if there is a conceivable position or context in which you would discharge the weapon and the would use.
“So I wonder what are the conditions that would allow these armed soldiers to unload their weapons here in the middle of the sovereign territory of a state to which they do not belong and do not serve.”
Speaking into a microphone as a cameraman filmed him, Mr Ó Cadhla is then seen approaching HMS Enterprise as one of the sailors guarding the ship smiles, waves and waves ” thumb up”.
But the former adviser then climbs onto the bridge and begins to climb back towards the ship.
Sailors can be seen ordering the men to “stop” and “get off” before one of them says, “Stop right there, now.”
“You are in our country my friend”, we hear Mr. Ó Cadhla shout to the sailors. — You are moored at our quay. You should get out of here.
Eventually, the men are brought back to the bridge by the local Garda police. A report of the irish examiner claims that Mr Cadhla was later arrested after he refused to comply with the garda’s order to leave the area peacefully.
A former lieutenant commander and Gosport naval expert has since praised the cold response from the crew of HMS Enterprise.
Mike Critchley said: “Keeping a ship safe is a top priority. As for the port, security within the confines of Portsmouth Naval Base is much less secure as you already have the MoD police there.
“But if you go to a commercial port like Liverpool or Cork, you naturally have the added security.”
He added: “Looks like the sailors did fine, no one boarded the ship or entered the captain’s cabin.”
The Ministry of Defense said Royal Navy ships regularly have armed sentries alongside to ensure the safety of military personnel.
A Royal Navy spokesperson added: ‘HMS Enterprise was on a routine visit to Cork. There was no security breach.
HMS Enterprise’s main role is to carry out oceanographic and hydrographic surveys – examining and mapping the seabed.
The Plymouth-based ship can also serve as a “mother ship” for minehunters.
It is understood that she was due to leave Cork today.