Bonus for Naval Service in taking on more foreign-born recruits

Members of the Naval Service Recruit Class 'Sullivan' at their Passing Out Parade at the Naval Base, Haulbowline, Co. Cork. Pictures: Denis Minihane.

The Naval Service is increasingly taking on more foreign-born recruits, which is a bonus when it comes to dealing with trawlers fishing off the coast that hail from a number of different countries.

The latest foreign-born recruit to join up is Krzysztof Mendel, 18, who was born in Mragowo in Poland.

As a very young man he moved to Kilmacrenan, County Donegal and was inspired to join the military by his father who served in the Polish Army.

Krzysztof has joined the ranks which already feature a number of Poles and other Eastern Europeans.

A Naval Service spokesman said many of these recruits are fluent in several languages and this comes in very useful when they are on fishery patrols and have to communicate with foreign vessels.

While the navy is glad to welcome Krzysztof and other foreign-born sailors, it still relies on those who have generational ties to the service.

One of the 28 recruits who passed out yesterday was Tristan Johnson, 19, from Mullingar Co Westmeath.

His grandfather and great uncle both served as petty officers in the navy.

One young woman who joined up is a martial arts expert.

Emily Foley, 21, from Dungarvan, Co Waterford has competed all over the world in her sport, winning multiple Irish championships and a world championship title.

Members of the Naval Service Recruit Class
Members of the Naval Service Recruit Class 'Sullivan' (from left) OS Alexandre Pluchrat, Athy; OS Emily Foley, Dungarvan, and OS Zoe Gallagher, Longford, after the Passing Out Parade at the Naval Base, Haulbowline, Co. Cork.

Jordan Campbell, 21, from Athlone, Co Westmeath served in the Irish Army from 2016-2017.

He said he joined the Naval Service to broaden his opportunities to travel and learn new skills.

Tristan Johnson won the class prize for best shot, Jordan Campell for best kit and the best overall recruit award went to Adam Galvin.

Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service, Commodore Michael Malone, took the salute at the passing out parade at the navy's headquarters in Haulbowline.

The recruits successfully completed 14 weeks of intensive training to prepare them for the role as Ordinary Ratings.

They will now undertake branch/specialised training which includes Seamanship, Gunnery, Logistics, Communications and Mechanical/Engineering.

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