Fola (CM12)

Fola (CM12) was a Ton-class minesweeper of the Irish Naval Service.

United Kingdom
Name: HMS Blaxton
Namesake: Village of Blaxton, Doncaster
Launched: 21 June 1955
Fate: Transferred to Irish Naval Service
Republic of Ireland
Namesake: Fóla, a legendary queen of the Tuatha Dé Danann
Acquired: 22 February 1971
Commissioned: 23 February 1971
Decommissioned: 1987
Identification: CM12
Fate: Sold for scrap
General characteristics
Class and type: Ton-class minesweeper
Displacement: 360 tonnes
Length: 42.67 m (140.0 ft) overall
Beam: 8.4 m (28 ft)
Draught: 2.49 m (8 ft 2 in)
Speed: 28 km/h (15 kn) maximum
Complement: 30

Launched in 1955 as HMS Blaxton (M1132) for the Royal Navy (RN),[1] the minesweeper was transferred to the Irish Naval Service on 22 February 1971, and renamed after Fóla, a legendary queen of the Tuatha Dé Danann and a poetic name for Ireland.

The minehunter remained in service until 1987, when she was sold for breaking.[2] Blaxton was launched on 21 June 1955.

Irish Naval Service

HMS Blaxton was handed over to the Irish Naval Service on 22 February 1971. Together with Banba (previously HMS Alverton), the newly acquired vessel was commissioned as Fola the next day.[2][3]

Following her commissioning, Fola in company with Banba, worked up in the Western Mediterranean so that they could complete Harbour Acceptance Trials and Sea Acceptance Trials. On 20 March both ships left the Mediterranean for home, however on the way a storm blew up forcing them to take refuge in Lisbon. The two newest additions to the Navy finally arrived on 29 March 1971, and were used for training and fisheries protection.[4]

Decommissioning and fate

In 1987, Fola was decommissioned and sold to Spanish interests for breaking.[2]


  1. Moore, John E., ed. (1978). Jane's Fighting Ships 1978-79. London: Macdonald and Jane's. p. 250. ISBN 0-354-00570 7.
  2. "Naval Service - Fleet History". Irish Defence Forces. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012.
  3. "Éire". Warship International. International Naval Research Organization. 8: 232. 1971. Minesweepers recently acquired from RN have been named Banba (ex-Alverton), Fola (ex-Blaxton) & Grainne (ex-Oulston)
  4. "RTÉ Archives - Policing Irish Waters Against Poachers". RTÉ. 1971. Retrieved 20 October 2018. Three decommissioned 1950s minesweepers, all unused, were purchased from Britain to serve the Irish Navy's dual peacetime roles of defence training and fisheries protection. These minesweepers, LÉ Banba, LÉ Fola and LÉ Grainne [..] will be judged on their ability to protect Irish waters against poaching trawlers

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