Landmark handover between female Navy officers

Friday 12 July 2013 20.04
Lieutenant Commander Marie Gleeson and Lieutenant Commander Erika Downing
Lieutenant Commander Marie Gleeson and Lieutenant Commander Erika Downing

The first handover of command between two female captains of an Irish Naval Service vessel has taken place on the quayside in Waterford.

Lieutenant Commander Marie Gleeson from Cashel in Co Tipperary took control of the LE Aoife from outgoing captain, Lieutenant Commander Erika Downing from Cork.

The handover comes 18 years after the first female personnel joined the Naval Service, in 1995.

A quarter of the officers in the Naval Service are now female, which has more proportionally more female ships' captains than any other Navy in Europe.