Possible PAC inquiry into sale of L.E. Aisling

Update 8.40pm: A member of the Public Accounts Committee has said an inquiry may be held into the sale of a Naval Service boat - which is already back on the market at six times the price.

The L.E. Aisling is already back for sale in the Netherlands, less than two months after it was sold at an auction in Cork. Its new asking price is six times higher.

Fine Gael's Alan Farrell says the matter is now likely to be looked into at some level.

But Deputy Farrell says the market for former Naval vessels is limited - and the value would always fall as a result: “The costs of changing it into a civilian yacht would be quite significant therefore the price of the vessel is limited.

“If it was to be sold in Ireland again, clearly a decision was made about how much the vessel should reach as opposed to how much it cost to maintain it here in Cork.”

Update 4pm: The group representing Defence Forces personnel has voiced concern, after an Irish naval service boat was put back on the market - for six times its selling price.

The L.E. Aisling was put on the market in March and sold to a Dutch shipbroker for €110,000.

But without any refurbishment work being done on it, the vessel is back up for sale again - with an asking price of close to €700,000.

Gerard Guinan of PDFORRA says a higher reserve price should have been set - and the Naval Service may have lost out on money: “I can’t say with any degree of certainty that the price realised was far less than what it should have been because I don’t know the condition of the ship.

“But yet, you know if the price released in excess of or less than what it should have been, we would have concerns.”

Earlier: A naval vessel sold by the Government two months ago is back on the market - at six times its sale price.

The L.E. Aisling is now back on sale in the Netherlands as a fisheries patrol vessel, despite its new owners confirming that no extra work has been done on the vessel.

The boat now carries an asking price of more than €650,000. The Government sold it for €110,000 to Dutch ship broker Dick van der Kamp just seven weeks ago.

Fine Gael TD and member of the Public Accounts Committee Alan Farrell said the PAC is now likely to hear more about the sale.

"The difference between the value being sought at the moment on the open market versus the value achieved at a public auction a number of weeks ago presents a difficulty to me as a member of the Public Accounts Committee and as a former member for five years of the Defence Committee," he said.

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