A naval officer who was honoured for his role in the detention of a yacht carrying a major drugs shipment has been appointed head of the Naval Service.
Captain Mark Mellett was in charge of the LE Orla when he was involved in the capture of the drugs vessel Brime in 1994 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in recognition of his role. He was only the second naval officer to win the distinction.
The Government yesterday appointed Capt Mellett as the new flag officer commanding the Naval Service. The post had been vacant since the retirement of Commodore Frank Lynch last month.
Capt Mellett is from Mayo and joined the service in 1976.
Apart from commands of the LE Orla, LE Ciara and the naval flagship LE Eithne, he has held a broad range of appointments.
He also has citations for service in Afghanistan in 2004 and Lebanon in 1989 and holds a PhD in oceans governance.
He will now be promoted to the rank of commodore.