Revenue's new Customs Cutter
Ms Noeleen McCreevy, wife of the Minister for Finance, today (28 June) officially named Revenue's new purpose-built Customs Cutter, RCC Suirbhéir, at the Custom House Quay, Cork.
The 23 metre sea-going vessel, the first of its kind for the Customs service since the foundation of the State, is being introduced as a further development of Revenue's response to the problem of drugs importations and other smuggling via the Irish coastline.
Guests of honour at the ceremony were the Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevy TD and Mr Noel Ahern TD, Minister for State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs who has special responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy. The ceremony was also attended by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Sean Martin; the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Joe Walsh TD along with the Minister for State at the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, Mr Michael Ahern TD. Dail deputies from all Cork constituencies attended as did dignitaries from the Naval Service, the Gardai, business and the sailing and seafaring community.
Speaking at the ceremony the Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevy said:
'I would like to compliment Revenue on its foresight and vision in adding this important piece of infrastructure in its, and the nation's fight against the scourge of drug trafficking.'
Noel Ahern TD, Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, with responsibility for Drugs Strategy commented:
'I know that Customs and Excise are achieving considerable success in achieving their targets under the National Drugs Strategy. I am confident that the new cutter will go a long way in maintaining this success.'
The Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners, Frank Daly said:
'This impressive vessel will play a very important role in ensuring that the environment for drug smugglers who come into our territorial waters and ports becomes increasingly and significantly more difficult.'
Hull Length:- 22.7M
Hull Breath:- 5.4M
Engines:- 2 X 820 Kilowatt (total power output 2400 HP)
Speed:- 25 knots.
Fuel Capacity:- Approx 8000 litres.
Command & Crew
The vessel will be crewed by specially selected and trained Revenue personnel (normally six in number) under Cutter Commander Gerry Greenway, himself a Revenue official.
In order to meet maritime regulatory requirements, the vessel (while under Revenue management) will, for the first twelve months, be commanded by a Naval Officer, Lt-Commander Pat Allen.
Uudenkaupungin Tyovene in Finland built the Cutter at a cost of €1.6 million.
She was named following a competition among Revenue staff which attracted over 2,000 entries. The winning suggestion, by Pádraig Dooley from Kilkenny, recalls the former Customs service grade of 'Surveyor' which was in use for hundreds of years. The name also indicates the function of the vessel while the use of the Irish version is in keeping with the tradition of naming all Government vessels in the first language.
The Home Port of the vessel will be Cork Harbour however the cutter will have a national remit. She will be under the management of the Revenue, Special Compliance District, South West Region.