A woman who helped save more than 1,000 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea was brought to tears when she described how she witnessed a young child being told her mother was dead.
Jill Hamilton (37), a communications operator, served on LÉ Róisín on a three-month humanitarian mission to aid migrants fleeing Syria and other Middle Eastern and African countries.
A month after the ship's departure, it responded to a request for help from the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre.
The flimsy rubber dinghy was located 37 nautical miles off the coast of Tripoli with 111 migrants on board.
Speaking from South Lebanon, the Co Cork native told the Irish Independent that the operation was particularly traumatic for her.
"What sticks out to me was that there was a child up on deck with her auntie looking for her mother. Unfortunately, that lady never made it.
"When they told the child and her auntie that the mother didn't make it, it was just traumatic," she said.
Ms Hamilton added that she feels the migration crisis deserves "a hell of a lot more attention".
Ms Hamilton, who has served 19 years in the Irish Naval Service, is now stationed in South Lebanon as part of the UN mandate force UNIFIL.
After five years of war, it's far too easy for the daily tragedies and atrocities in Syria and in the seas off Libya to be parked out of sight and out of mind. This week, however, the scale of the endgame in the Syrian war loomed large on our TV screens with reports as Syrian and Russian forces closed in on the remaining opposition forces in eastern Aleppo. With tens of thousands of unfortunate civilians trapped in the crossfire, their prospects for survival are bleak and there are UN warnings of massacres and war crimes on all sides.