Master and commander: Kilkenny man is captain of Irish Navy's new patrol ship

Lt Cmdr Phil Dicker was joined at a commissioning ceremony by the Taoiseach and Defence Minister

Sam Matthews


Sam Matthews


A Kilkenny man is the captain of the Irish Navy’s fourth offshore patrol vessel, the LÉ George Bernard Shaw, which was officially named and commissioned this week.

Lieutenant Commander Phil Dicker is at the helm of the state-of-the-art €60 million security and surveillance ship, which has a crew of 44. Along with his crew, he was joined by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe at the ship’s official commissioning ceremony on the quays in Waterford.

Also in attendance were TY students from Kilkenny College and its principal, Simon Thompson. Lt Cmdr Dicker is an past pupil of the local school.

The new ship was built in Appledore Shipyard by Babcock Marine. It now joins the LÉ Samuel Beckett, LÉ James Joyce and LÉ WB Yeats, as part of a list of Irish writers to have a naval vessel named for them.