The government has taken the option to purchase third new Naval Service ship of the Samuel Beckett class. This has promptly re-opened the argument about what it should be named, given that the Navy has departed from the old scheme of naming ships after female Irish mythological figures.
Film-maker Neil Jordan said he would organise a “roll call” of writers and artists who “will refuse to have weaponised naval systems named after them”, while writer Julian Gough recently pointed out in this newspaper that Beckett’s works were still banned here in the 1960s.
Stephen Joyce is also understood to have written to Mr Shatter in protest at the selection of his grandfather James Joyce’s name for the second new vessel, due for delivery next year.
Gough also noted the State refused Nora Barnacle’s request to have her husband’s body repatriated after Joyce’s death in Zurich in 1941.
Memories are long in these here parts. This option does tickle my fancy, if only for the fun factor:
One other possibility is LÉ Helga after the vessel sent by the British up the Liffey to shell Liberty Hall during the 1916 Rising.
“We’d just have to make sure the guns were pointing in the right direction this time though,” one defence source quipped.