Former politician is arrested after attempting to get on board Royal Navy warship HMS Enterprise in Ireland

A FORMER politician has been arrested after allegedly attempting to force his way onto a Royal Navy warship while it was docked in Ireland.

By Tom Cotterill
Saturday, 18th June 2022, 2:43 pm

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla, 61, was hauled before Cork District Court on Friday following an incident involving survey ship HMS Enterprise.

The 61-year-old former councillor for The People’s Convention was filmed trying to walk up the gangway of Enterprise before being stopped by armed sailors guarding the ship, in footage that has been shared on social media.

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During the seven minute recording, Mr Ó Cadhla, of Upper Beaumont Drive, Ballintemple, Cork, is seen taunting the sailors from the dockside.

He said: ‘Good afternoon folks here from Sunny Cork city where [there is] a terrible offensive image here. What we’re looking at is a Nato and British warship.

‘You see soldiers up here armed with automatic weapons… Now anybody who has ever been in the armed forces will know you only carry a weapon if there is a conceivable position or context in which you would discharge the weapon and use it.

‘So I wonder what are the conditions which would allow these armed soldiers to discharge their weapons here in the middle of the sovereign territory of a state that they do not belong to and do not serve.’

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla, centre, is ushered off the gangway of HMS Enterprise by a garda police officer in Cork, Ireland.

Speaking to a microphone as a cameraman filmed him, Mr Ó Cadhla is then seen approaching HMS Enterprise as one of the sailors guarding the ship smiles, waves and gives a ‘thumbs up’ sign.

But the former councillor then steps on the gangway and begins making his way up to the ship.

Sailors can be seen ordering the men to ‘stop’ and ‘go down’ before one says: ‘Stop there, now.’

Sailors on board HMS Enterprise pictured stopping a former politician from trying to gain unauthorised access to the ship while it was alongside in Ireland.

‘You’re in our country buddy,’ Mr Ó Cadhla is heard shouting at the sailors. ‘You’re tied up to our quay. You should get off out of here.’

Eventually, the men are led back down the gangway by local garda police. A report by the Irish Examiner claims Mr Cadhla was later arrested after refusing to comply with garda direction to leave the vicinity in a peaceful manner.

A former Lieutenant Commander and naval expert from Gosport has since praised the cool-headed response by HMS Enterprise’s crew.

Mike Critchley said: ‘Taking the security of a ship is top priority. When it comes to the harbour the security in the confines of Portsmouth Naval Base is a lot less secure because you’ve already got the MoD police there.

Sailors on board HMS Enterprise pictured stopping a former politician from trying to gain unauthorised access to the ship while it was alongside in Ireland.

‘But if you go to a commercial port like Liverpool or Cork you naturally have increased security.’

He added: ‘It sounds like the sailors did quite well, no-one got on the ship or got into the captain’s cabin.’

The Ministry of Defence said Royal Navy ships routinely have armed sentries while alongside in order to ensure the safety of military personnel.

A Royal Navy spokesman added: ‘HMS Enterprise was making a routine visit to Cork. There was no breach of security.’

HMS Enterprise’s primary role is to carry out oceanographic and hydrographic surveys – examining and mapping the seafloor.

The Plymouth-based ship- can also act as ‘mothership’ for minehunters.

A police officer makes his way up HMS Enterprise's gangway to remove the men from it

It’s understood she was due to leave Cork today.

Sailors on board HMS Enterprise pictured stopping a former politician from trying to gain unauthorised access to the ship while it was alongside in Ireland.