Irish eyes smile on HMS Illustrious

HMS Illustrious took on a distinctly green tinge during a recent visit to Dublin to celebrate her presence in the Emerald Isle.

The routine visit came at the end of Exercise Joint Warrior, a multi national event involving thousands of military personnel from several countries, off the coast of Scotland.

But the Company of “Lusty” opted to shower her in green light when she berthed at Dublin’s Alexander Docks at the weekend, a visit which coincided with “The Gathering”.

Niall Gibbons, CEO Tourism Ireland, said:

“We were delighted to welcome HMS Illustrious to Ireland and are sure that the sailors on board received a wonderful Irish welcome during their stay.”

The special green lamps and projector used to create the effects were donated by the Worshipful Company of Lightmongers with whom Lusty has a close affiliation. Commander John Voyce heads up the marine engineering team in the 23,000 ton helicopter carrier.

He said:

“We were delighted with the end effect. The lamps themselves actually shine green. This gives a far better effect with much more intensity that putting filters over a white light.”

During her visit, two members of the Ship’s Company, Able Seaman Andrew Liston, 25, from Chesterfield and Able Seaman Aaron Canwell, 31, from Wembley, were both awarded certificates of Irish Heritage for having family ties to the country.

Another highlight of the visit was a performance by Irish group, Ragus, who transformed the ship’s hangar into a stage which they filled with traditional Irish music and dance.

We were delighted to welcome HMS Illustrious to Ireland and are sure that the sailors on board received a wonderful Irish welcome during their stay.

Niall Gibbons CEO Tourism Ireland