“How am I going to get people engaged? The Irish navy is your navy – this is for you – you pay your taxes and that pays my wages and that buys these ships. I’m a normal girl from Carlow that is out here trying to help Ireland protect its resources, its people, and do a good job for you, so that why I started doing it. You do get the odd comment – Twitter can be a terrible place at times – but I’m delighted that people say that’s what we do, and that’s what I wanted.”
Today my guest is Lieutenant Commander Grace Fanning. Grace is a member of The Irish Naval Service which is one of the three branches of the Irish Defence Forces. Originally from County Carlow, Grace has spent the last twenty-two years in the Irish Navy and has recently finished her post as Commanding Officer of the L.É. Róisín. I came across Grace on Twitter which she uses to post photos and videos about life on board a ship of the Irish Navy. I thought it would be interesting to have Grace on as a guest to find out more about being an officer, so I hope you are sitting comfortably and happy to stay with us.
We started our chat with me asking Grace about how ranks fit into the command structure of the navy (00:08), what drew Grace to become a naval officer (03:25), and about basic requirements for joining the navy (06:07). We then chatted about the size of the Irish navy (11:02), about the daily routine of the crew (16:07), what the navy are equipped to do beyond the role of defence (19:30), and the way sea lanes are organised which include roundabouts! (26:35). Towards the end of the conversation, we talked about Grace using Twitter to show the work the navy do (29:00), some memorable places that she has visited (31:46), and what Grace likes to do away from service (38:00). We finished up our chat with Grace telling me what she likes to read and watch at the moment (41:30).
- Grace on Twitter
- The Irish Navy website
- The Irish naval fleet
- Rockall on Wikipedia
- For more, hear my conversation with Richard Jones, Eimear Ní Bhraonáin and Dr. Johanna Vos.