A member of the Naval Service has pleaded guilty to one charge of disclosing information without authority about the operation of State ships at sea in December 2008.

Able Seaman Eoin Gray, 24, had pleaded not guilty to five charges earlier this morning at a court martial in McKee Barracks in Dublin.

However this afternoon he changed his plea to one of the charges and was then acquitted of the other four charges.

Outlining the facts of the case, Prosecuting Counsel Commander Patrick Burke of the Naval Service said Gray contacted a colleague in the operations room of the fisheries monitoring centre at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour on a number of occasions.

Gray wanted to find out what was going on operationally and wanted to know the exact location and status of the LÉ Orla.

He wanted to find out if he would be free for the weekend because he wanted to go home. He then texted this information to his girlfriend.

The judge, Col Tony McCourt, will hear character witnesses for the defendant tomorrow.