Arguably the most famous ship in modern Irish Naval Service history, the LÉ Aisling, was sold for €110,000 at auction to a Dutch ship broker.
LÉ Aisling was decommissioned from fleet service last year after steaming 600,000 nautical miles over a 36-year service career. The vessel was sold by public auction in Carrigaline, Co Cork.
Auctioneer Dominic Daly said LÉ Aisling represented a unique purchase despite the difficulties in the global shipping sector.
Netherlands ship broker Dick van der Kamp bought the ship with just the second bid at the auction.
The vessel sold for roughly one-third of the €320,000 the LÉ Emer made at public auction almost four years ago. LÉ Deirdre, which was auctioned off in 2001, made €240,000. Mr van der Kamp said the purchase was a gamble.
"The offshore ship market has collapsed over the past few years. That is why this ship made much less than the previous ship auctioned off," he said.
He said the ship will be towed to the Netherlands within a matter of weeks and his firm will then consider expressions of interest in it.
"Sometimes you buy ships and it is a bargain. But it is also a gamble," he said. Mr Daly admitted it was "a little disappointing" there were only two bids. "It is part of a class built in Cork. The first was LÉ Deirdre and she was sold off a number of years ago and converted into a private yacht," he said.
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