Recruits make it through a rigorous selection process to qualify for places in the Naval Service of the Defence Forces.

There was a time when it was said that the navy was grateful for anyone it could get. Now the situation is much different with nearly 800 applications for places on the training courses, only 110 recruits qualified. Demand for places in the navy is such that there is now a waiting list of 550.

Times have changed in the Naval Service.

There is a good geographic representation among the new recruits. 25 are from Cork, seven from Dublin, five from Waterford, and the rest spread across Kilkenny, Louth, Tipperary, Wexford, Longford, Offaly, Mayo, Kildare, Limerick, Galway and Kerry.

Each of the recruits has spent 16 weeks in training in rough winter conditions on Haulbowline Island.

The passing out parade was reviewed by the new base commander Captain Joe Deasy on his first official function in the role.

Awards were given for the best recruits who included David Byrne from Kilkenny, William Brayne from Dublin, Pascal Looby from Kilkenny and Paul Kelly from Longford.

Captain Joe Deasy explains why the demand for places in the navy has become more popular. The Naval Service has acquired new ships in recent years, such as the LE Eithne, which has brought with it a lot of positive publicity. In addition, Captain Deasy believes that the opportunity to travel is another attraction for recruits.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 15 April 1986. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.