In most European and developed countries the process of procurement is very standardised, the relevant military submits a list of equipment and generally they get it. The only debate usually centres on quantity. In Ireland, the wisdom goes, the DF think of what they need.....then the capibility is slashed by 200%, the quantity is reduced by 50% and finally the maximum budget is divided by 10.....and thats what we end up with!!
Possibly, as a result of this ad-hoc procurment system, over the years there have arisen various stories and folklore regarding items which the DF looked for and never got, or we were about to buy and the deal fell through, or we were offered something as a type of foreign assistance but the Government demured. Some of these legends are seemingly true.....others are fantasy!
Whilst posting on the thread regarding the new OPVs for the NS I was very impressed by the depth and knowledge displayed by some of the posters regarding Irish military affairs and very much enjoyed some of the anecdotes regarding facets of DF life!
Some rumours have been confirmed to me, other haven't, thats why I am proposing a Q&A thread regarding all the "what might have beens" in the DF over the years!
Obviously, anything posted should pertain only to historical events and not anything that might effect current operations
Ok, I will get the ball rolling with this nugget.....
I was told that in the late 1960s when it was obvious the Flower Class Corvettes needed replacing that the Government had agreed to buy a 340ft frigate which had been sitting idle in the UK. This ship had been ordered by Kwame Nkrumah to serve as flagship of the Ghanian Navy along with Presidential Yacht. Construction was nearing completion when he was overthrown in 1966, and subsequently the new government of General Ankrah refused to accept the vessel because of the cost. It then sat tied up at the quayside awaiting a buyer! I dismissed the Irish angle as BS until I did a little research....I found out that the Government actually announced an intention to purchase in December 1968, and further, confirmed this in Dail questions in early 1969!!!
Dil ireann - Volume 242 - 20 November, 1969 - Ceisteann—Questions. Oral Answers. - Corvettes.
Subsequently....as we know nothing came of this and the NS was reduced to a fleet of zero! Black Star as the frigate was known went on to serve in the RN as HMS Mermaid and later as KD Hang Tuah with indonesia!
So, anybody know the rest of the story?