USS La Salle, the US warship which served in the first Gulf War has arrived in Dublin port.
A small group of anti-war activists turned out to demonstrate against the visit of the US navy warship to Ireland. The US military insists that it is in Dublin on a goodwill visit. The protestors claim that the ship's presence in Ireland compromises Irish neutrality and breaches the radiological protection laws.
The ship is 520 feet long, weighs 14,000 tonnes and has 500 sailors on board.
According to Captain Herman Shelanski of the sixth fleet command ship,
There are no real offensive weapons on board.
Richard Boyd Barrett of the Anti-War Movement explains the reasons for protesting the ship's presence on Irish shores. He believes the visit is part of a public relations exercise by the US military to soften public opinion ahead of the visit of President George Bush to Ireland.
The Navy insists that the visit allows many of its recruits, many of who have Irish roots, to spend a few days in Dublin.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 May 2004. The reporter is Jennifer O'Connell.