A group of Irish activists planning to embark in a Gaza-bound aid flotilla at the end of March, have acquired a vessel that can carry 25 passengers.
Dr Fintan Lane of the Free Gaza Movement and the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, told the Irish Times that the boat which is docked at a Mediterranean port, is Irish owned.
Dr Lane is part of an international committee which is organizing the flotilla, which intends to begin its voyage on March 30. Other members include U.S., Turkish, French, Spanish, Canadian, Swedish, Swiss and Malaysian nationals. Committee members are due to meet in Madrid next week to finalize plans for the voyage.
Shane Dillion will captain the Irish boat for the March voyage. Mr Dillion was on board one of the boats raided by Israeli commandos last May, when a group attempted a similar flotilla.
Irish politicians who have committed to sailing with the Irish activists include Fianna Fáil TD Chris Andrews , Senator Mark Daly, Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh, People Before Profit councilor Richard Boyd Barrett, and Sinn Féin Derry councilor Gerry MacLochlainn.
“Around 1,000 people from several different countries will be involved this time,” Dr Lane told the Irish Times.
Organizer of the flotilla have made a down payment of €25,000 towards the vessel. They intend to raise the balance through fundraising,