Finnish Naval flagship FNS Hämeenmaa visited Dublin at the end of May as part of the Finnish Navy´s annual training expedition to the Baltic Sea, North Sea and the Atlantic. Glorious sunshine showed the city at its best to the Finnish visitors.
FNS Hämeenmaa docked at Sir John Rogerson's Quay in central Dublin on Wednesday 24th May. In the evening the public had a unique opportunity to visit the vessel in an open ship event. Dublin residents were interested in exploring the ship, and the event drew a crowd of nearly 100 visitors. Later in the evening Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan, visited the vessel.
On Thursday 25th May, the ship hosted a seminar on UNIFIL and the two countries´ peacekeeping cooperation for members of the Finnish and Irish Defence Forces. In the afternoon, the Finnish cadets met their Irish counterparts in a friendly football match in Curragh. Finland is not known as a big football nation, and there were no surprises in that respect: the Irish cadets left the field as winners.
On Friday 26th May, the ship´s crew and the Finnish Embassy organised a reception to celebrate the Flag Day of the Finnish Defence Forces and the centenary year of Finland’s independence. The weather was favourable, and the guests got to enjoy the warm, sunny day on the deck of FNS Hämeenmaa.
On Saturday morning, the ship steered its course back towards the Baltic Sea and a final military exercise before returning to Finland.
Intern Emilia Lounela