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Tuesday 28 January 2020

Plain sailing as Orann takes command

Orann Martin at the wheel of the LE Aoife in Cork yesterday. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Orann Martin at the wheel of the LE Aoife in Cork yesterday. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Ralph Riegel

A young boy who bravely battled a life-threatening illness was left speechless as he got to command a multi-million euro Naval Service patrol vessel for a day.

Orann Martin (10) from Limerick had hoped the Make A Wish charity could simply arrange for him to spend a few hours on a Navy vessel.

But the charity, with the support of the Naval Service, decided to go one better for the youngster in light of his courage in fighting his illness.

Orann was shocked to discover that, for one day, he would command the high-tech LE Aoife as it undertook a series of exercises around Cork Harbour.

The youngster arrived on Cork's city quays by limousine from his Limerick home - and was then presented with the skipper's cap for the day.

He took his place in the captain's chair on the bridge and issued orders as the crew brought the patrol vessel to Haulbowline after conducting a short series of exercises in the harbour.

"It was absolutely brilliant - it was a dream come true. I still can't believe it," Orann said.

Navy officials said they were delighted to be able to assist the Make A Wish charity to help make Orann's dream a reality.

As well as skippering the patrol vessel, Orann got a special guided tour of Haulbowline Naval Base and a lavish VIP lunch.

At the end of his visit, Orann was presented with a special plaque to confirm his status as honorary captain of LE Aoife. Orann was accompanied by his mother Catherine, step-father Andrew, and his older sister Ellen (13).

Irish Independent

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