18 May 2017
By Bryan Smyth
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called for an investigation into the sale of the LÉ Aisling naval vessel.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking after the ship, which was sold to a Dutch buyer by the Department of Defence for €110,000 at auction in Cork, appeared for resale in Holland valued at €685,000.
The current Dutch figure is merely an asking price, and the vessel has not been re-sold yet, indeed it might not sell for that price, however the differential in numbers has been noticed in Ireland by many. The news comes at the same time representatives of many Irish Naval Service Personnel are expressing concern about low pay.
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada said
“The money raised from… the Aisling could have been used for any number of much needed projects from supporting diversification in traditional fishing communities to bolstering environmental protection at sea.”
“This is being reported as an embarrassing blunder by the Government but it is much more than that; this episode is highly indicative of the incompetence and contempt of this government for state assets and the general population.”
“My colleague, David Cullinane TD, has said he will raise the issue at the next meeting of the Public Accounts Committee and I believe it is also crucial that the processes and conclusion of this sale are investigated fully by the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General.”