Dutch broker defends LÉ Aisling sale price

Dutch broker defends LÉ Aisling sale price

The former Irish Naval vessel LÉ Aisling tied up at Haulbowline, before it was auctioned off. Pic: Larry Cummins

THE Dutch ship broker who snapped up the LE Aisling at a bargain price has defended his efforts to resell the vessel just two months later for six times the price.

Dick Van der Kamp bought the decommissioned Haulbowline naval vessel just two months ago for €110,000.

Yesterday, it was reported to be listed for sale for approximately €680,000, more than six times its initial price.

The State has come in for significant criticism, with Sinn Féin defence spokesman Aengus Ó Snodaigh describing the news as 'embarrassing.'

"Whoever is valuing the vessel obviously didn't do their job right," he added.

Similar criticism was heard from PDforra, the organisation which represents members of the defence force, while a number of TDs said that it was clear that the State had lost out financially.

However, a statement issued by Mr Van der Kamp's company has defended the move.

It said that the company 'have marketed the vessel without a price' to see 'what comes up.'

The statement added that the company 'were not so happy that all over the internet, the purchase price was advertised' as it gives 'a wrong impression' about the value of the ship and the company's motives.

Similarly, Dominic Daly, the auctioneer who oversaw the initial sale two months ago, defended the sale price.

While the €110,000 price was described as 'disappointing' at the time, it was noted that just two bids were received, including an unsuccessful one from a Cobh-based businessman.

Mr Daly confirmed that officials from the Department of Defence were present at the time of the sale and were consulted before an agreement was reached.

Other recent naval sales returned far greater sums, with LÉ Emer selling for €320,000 in 2014 and LÉ Deirdre for €240,000 in 2001.

The price disparity was blamed on a 'collapse' in the market.

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