This photograph dates from April 2013. I just discovered a few days ago that the Irish Naval Service vessel LE Emer, which stood down in September 2013 after 35 years, was sold to a new owner. The vessel was sold at auction in Cork for €320,000 to London based Nigerian businessman Cyprian Imobhio. My understanding is that the ship is now in the hands of the Nigerian Navy as the NNS Prosperity. LÉ Emer was built in Ireland to the basic design of the Naval Service’s first purpose built Offshore Patrol Vessel, the LÉ Deirdre but was modified to improve stability and speed. Her original BOFORS 40mm L60 gun was recently upgraded to a BOFORS 40mm L70 thus improving the range and accuracy of her main armament. Operationally, LÉ Emer chalked up a notable first when she undertook the first ever deployment of an Irish naval ship to resupply Irish troops serving with the United Nations troops in Lebanon in 1979. This was the first of many such deployments and the Naval Service now frequently supports Irish troops abroad. A notable operation in her history was her part in the apprehension of the Marita Anne in 1984, which stopped after warning shots were fired by Emer and which was found to be carrying a significant quantity of arms and ammunition. LÉ Emer is associated with Cork University Hospital and conducts fund raising efforts on its behalf around the coast. Although all the ships’ homeport is Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour, LÉ Emer has a particularly close relationship with the city of Cork itself. Emer from Celtic Mythology Emer was the principal wife of Cúchulainn and the daughter of a chieftain from Rush, County Dublin, hence the Harp of Leinster. The fire relates to her description as burning with the seven virtues of womanhood, with seven flames rising from the fire. This particular symbolism is not clear, as Emer is not mentioned much in ancient literature. She appears as a major character in 'Bricriú Feat' and in one of 'Réamscéala' to the 'Táin Bó Cuailnge', which dealt with meeting and marriage to Cuchulainn. Where she is mentioned, Emer is depicted as a proud, dominant, hot tempered, violent and sexually demanding female aristocrat who tolerates no rivals. War hero that Cuchulainn was, he always treated her with considerable respect and indeed circumspection.