Irish vessels and crew have been warned of risks to their safety due to a French military exercise that will take place in Irish economic zone waters beginning later this month.

A marine notice was issued by the Department of Transport this afternoon, warning the exercise will involve the firing of missiles and rockets and will begin next Thursday.

The department said it had been informed of the exercise by the Irish Aviation Authority and warned of safety risks to mariners, given the nature of the exercises which will take place off the southern coast, outside of Irish territorial waters, but within the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone, which is patrolled by the Irish Naval Service.

Earlier this year, there was an outcry when the Russian Navy announced it would carry out military exercise in the IEEZ.

Those exercises were subsequently moved out of the IEEZ, after fishermen voiced concerns to the Russian ambassador and the Minister for Foreign Affairs wrote to the Russian Minister for Defence.