CORK navy member Donnchadh Cahalane has commenced his role as captain of the LÉ James Joyce.
The Dunmanway native, who joined the naval service in 2002, is thrilled with the role which he took up yesterday.
“It is a huge honour,” he said. “I have always aspired to be a captain. It is a big responsibility. Not many people have been appointed captain of an Irish warship that carries a name that is internationally recognised. I am hoping to run a ship that the crew onboard will enjoy serving on.”
Mr Cahalane has enjoyed his 19 years with the Defence Forces, and would recommend the navy to anybody who seeks adventure.
“I joined because it was something different. It is interesting and exciting. It is just adventure. I love going to sea. Something always happens when you least expect it.
“I would recommend it to anyone who is contemplating joining. There is such a huge variety. What you can be asked to do on a daily basis can range from fisheries protection, to a search and rescue mission, or testing people during a pandemic.
“The navy is a learning institution. You never stop learning. You are always training and it is very fulfilling as the training is always practical.”
The captain will be deployed in his post for two years, and looks forward to getting started.
“Generally, the navy works on a two-year rotation because you couldn’t live on a ship all your life as it would impact on family life.
“We normally work two years on a ship, before doing an office role for two years. This is rotated constantly.
“The ship will be my responsibility for two years. We will generally do four weeks at sea before returning to base for two weeks. In those two weeks, the priority is to prep the ship before going out for another four weeks.”
The 37-year-old previously served as a press officer in the naval headquarters for two years.
“It was an interesting and active role,” he said. “Press and social media are so important. It is important Government agencies are engaging. In this day and age, people require transparency.”