Naval training which previously took place on board the fishery protection vessel Deirdre will now be done on board the Setanta.

The 'Isolde' was renamed as 'Setanta' at a ceremony at the naval base in Haulbowline, County Cork and became the first official training ship for the Irish navy.

The Liffey dockyards baby of 1953 found a new life. It'll be used for training, as a supply ship for sea patrols and for search and rescue operations.

The event also saw four new cadets Gerald O'Donoghue, Charles Grant, Martin Gibbons and Shane Anderson commissioned as officers in the naval service.

The Setanta, which is 233 feet long and weighs 1,984 tonnes, will be commanded by Lt. Commander Paddy Kavanagh. The vessel was recently purchased by the Department of Defence from the Commissioners of Irish Lights.

Minister for Defence Patrick Donegan was in attendance at the ceremony and spoke to RTÉ News about the new acquisition and future plans for the naval services.

We believe we can do very good training with this vessel in the future.

On the expansion of the naval fleet the Minister outlined plans for a new vessel to be completed by 1977 at a cost of £4 million. However, he also stated that future investment in the navy is dependent upon government decisions which are in turn dependent upon external factors in Europe.

Mr Donegan's wife Olivia officially renamed the vessel from the Isolde to the Setanta at the ceremony.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 October 1976. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.