Friday 23 March 2018

Warship named after Irish-American hero

Don Lavery

A warship was launched yesterday named after an Irish-American Navy Seal commando who won America's highest award for bravery in Afghanistan.

The destroyer was launc-hed in Maine in honour of Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005 and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour.

It was a Navy Seal team that last week killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Lt Murphy was leading a four-man team that was attacked by up to 40 Taliban members when he left cover to try to get a radio signal to call for help and was killed.

His Irish parents, Dan and Maureen Murphy, of Long Island, New York, travelled to Maine for the ceremony. His father told the Irish Echo newspaper: "I'm really proud. It was Michael's Seals who bagged the beast."

The destroyer USS Michael Murphy was launched at the Bath Ironworks shipyard yesterday. The launch was also attended by Admiral Eric Olson, currently the commander of US Special Forces Command, which ultimately ran the operation that ended the life of the mastermind behind 9/11.

In the firefight in which Lt Murphy was killed, two of his comrades also died and one survived.

Lt Murphy's men were all awarded the Navy Cross, thus making the unit the most decorated in the history of the Navy Seals.

"Michael would have been 35 this Saturday," said Mr Murphy, who added that his son would have been immensely proud of the Pakistan mission, what he himself described as an "extraordinary projection of American military power".

Mr Murphy said that the launch of the USS Michael Murphy would be followed a year from now by the commissioning of the ship. This event, he hoped, would take place in New York and hopefully with US President Barack Obama in attendance.

Sunday Independent

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