The first naval review in the history of the state took place in Cork Harbour to honour the 50th anniversary of the Irish Naval Service.
President Mary Robinson reviewed the fleet from the flagship vessel LÉ Eithne, accompanied by Minister for Defence Seán Barrett and Flag Officer Naval Service Commodore John Kavanagh.
In a demonstration of Anglo-Irish relations, the ship's company of the British Navy's HMS Manchester performed a special salute for the President as she passed by. In addition to the seven ships of the Irish Naval Service and the British Navy, there were eight additional visiting naval services, and a flotilla of small craft accompanying the fleet.
Commodore John Kavanagh believes the Irish Naval Service,
Is in a very healthy state, we have seven fully operational, sophisticated vessels...it's a tremendous improvement on what we had, certainly when I joined the service, when we had three Corvettes, so we've at least doubled our services since my Cadet days.
The coordination of the defence services was marked when the Air Corps Casa aircraft combining with the Navy and fisheries patrols flew overhead in salute to its 50-year-old partner.
An RTÉ News report by Tom MacSweeney broadcast on 12 July 1996.