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#TALL SHIPS – Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague started the countdown to August's Tall Ships Races arrival into Dublin today.

Eighteen vessels are on the entry list for the 2012 Tall Ships Races which are set to conclude in Dublin Port next August.

The list is dominated by British entries, with all nine UK tall ships expected to sail the third and final leg from A Coruña in northern Spain to Dublin.

Tall ships from Russia, Poland, France, Ecuador, Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia and Belgium will also be in the fray when Ireland's capital hosts the final port of call for the 2012 races.

With an awesome splash and the help of "First Mate" Keith Duffy, as mythical Dublin "Mermaid" (Chantal McCormick of Fidget Feet) presented an aerial performance from The Jeanie Johnston on Dublin's Custom House Quay today.

Local school children, captivated by the performance were also on hand to encourage everyone to "jump on board" what is set to be the biggest Festival of the summer, The Tall Ships Races 2012 - Dublin. The Johanna Lucretia, one of the majestic Tall Ships taking part in the race travelled from the UK to mark the occasion, joined in the action on the river Liffey as she sailed up the river through the East Link Bridge, guided in with an impressive water salute from the tugs of The Dublin Port Company just before the Samuel Beckett Bridge.

All of these captivating displays were staged today as a preview for what can be expected when up to 50 splendid Tall Ships will arrive in the city and line the North and South of the River Liffey, as the centerpiece of a four day free festival: The Tall Ships Races 2012 - Dublin from Thursday August 23rd until Sunday August 26th.

One of the most anticipated events of the year, The Tall Ships Races 2012 - Dublin, presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International arrives in Dublin on Thursday 23rd August and will see the city come alive with a festival atmosphere both on and off the water. Local organisers, Dublin City Council and Dublin Port Company are delighted that Dublin was chosen as the final host port of The Tall Ships Races 2012 and are working around the clock to finalise all details for the ships arrival and programming for the four days of free quayside spectacle and performance.

Dublin City will be bustling with entertainment as part of The Tall Ships Races 2012 - Dublin. The quaysides will be alive with street performers, buskers and bands all weekend. An exciting Family Programme in Grand Canal Square will present nautical themed workshops and installations, interactive concerts, puppet shows, storytelling and amazing water sports displays in Grand Canal Dock.

Bulmers will present a free live music stage in George's Dock where there will be performances from Therapy?, The Undertones and many more amazing music acts nightly. (Full line up to be released). The evening programme will feature a special programme of illuminations and performances along the quays

Literary trails, heritage events and visual arts exhibitions, which celebrate the personal stories and memories of Dublin's seafaring community and the docks, are also planned for the Festival. The full festival programme will be announced in July and check out www.dublintallships.ie for regular updates.

The event is expected to deliver an estimated economic benefit to Dublin in the region of €30 million.

The Tall Ships Races 2012, organised by Sail Training International and presented by Szczecin is renowned around the world as one of the key highlights of the maritime calendar, as a leading tourist attraction and for its ability to deliver economic benefit to the host city. Sail Training International is a charity established to harness sail training to develop and educate young people, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background.

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague speaking at today's launch commented: "I am delighted to be a part of the launch of The Tall Ships Races 2012 Dublin, the city's most anticipated event of the year where Dublin can expect to see up to 1 million visitors with a majestic fleet of ships and 3,000 crew attend the event. This is not only one of the world's most spectacular maritime events but a great opportunity for local communities and businesses in Dublin to showcase all that the city has to offer"

Mary Weir, Project Manager for Tall Ships Races 2012 - Dublin, commenting on today's countdown said: "We are only three months away from welcoming one of the most spectacular events, The Tall Ships Races back to Dublin this August. It made a lasting impression on the city when it was last here in 1998 and we are working on a really exciting programme of entertainment and activity that will live up to our reputation for staging festivals and providing entertainment to suit all ages and tastes that will include public access and activity on selected ships.

Peter Cardy, Chief Executive of Sail Training International comments: "Dublin will be the final host port in a long race series which begins on 5 July in St Malo, France. Before competing in the final race from A Coruña to Dublin, the fleet will race to Lisbon and Cadiz in addition to taking part in a Cruise-in-Company. There will be much anticipation by the crews and trainees for the final prize giving ceremony when Sail Training International will reveal the overall race series winner along with a host of other prizes including our prestigious Friendship Trophy and Torbay Cup. We are looking forward to the event returning to Dublin and I'm sure the fleet and visitors to the city will receive the same warm welcome Irish ports have become known for. We are sure that Dublin will be a fantastic final host port for The Tall Ships Races 2012."

Keith Duffy, Ambassador and "First Mate" for Tall Ships Races 2012 Dublin said at today's launch: " I am incredibly honoured to have been chosen to represent Dublin City in my role as First Mate for The Tall Ships Races 2012 - Dublin. I'm no sailing expert, but I can't wait to see all the impressive Tall Ships arrive and welcome the crews to join in the many Festival events the organisers have planned from music to aquatic outdoor cinema, lighting installations and maritime events for old and young alike. Hopefully no one will make me walk the plank, and I will enjoy what promises to be one of the best festivals Dublin City has ever hosted."

Eamonn O'Reilly, CEO of Dublin Port Company who manage Dublin Port, said "We are delighted to welcome the Tall Ships Races to Dublin Port - Dublin Port is Ireland's premier port and handles 50% of all Ireland's imports and exports, making it a significant facilitator of Ireland's economy. In addition the Port welcomes 1.7 million tourists through the ferry companies operating at the port and in 2010 and additional 130,000 tourists and crew from the 85 cruise ship calls."

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#TALL SHIPS - Sail Training Ireland for Youth Development (STIYD) has announced a golden opportunity for the general public to sail on a tall ship.

Hot on the heels of the Tall Ships Races visit to Dublin this August, a series of three tall ship voyages have been scheduled to take place to and from Irish ports by the UK-based Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) on its 65-metre tall ship Tenacious between 11 October and 4 November 2012.

The first sailing from Southampton to Dublin (via Waterford) runs for 10 days from 11-20 October, followed by a seven-day jaunt from Dublin to Belfast from 22-28 October, and another seven-day trip from Belfast to Milford Haven from 29 October-4 November. Each voyage will have room for 40 trainees.

Anyone aged 16 and above can join the voyage crew as a trainee, and no previous experience is necessary.

Tenacious is also specially designed to cater for the needs of people with varying degrees of physical disability, including wheelchair users.

Features on board Tenacious and her sister ship Lord Nelson include signs in braille, lifts between decks, power assisted and 'joystick' steering, wide aisles and low-level fittings, guidance tracks and other on-deck pointers, and a speaking compass with digital screen.

STIYD says it is committed to providing access to tall ship sailing for the people of Ireland. The JST has also offered these voyages at a greatly reduced rate to encourage Irish trainees to get on board with what is hoped can become an annual event.

“It is great to see that the international tall ship fleet is reacting to recent activity in Irish sail training," said Michael Byrne, manager at STIYD. "Now that there is a central point of contact for trainees and vessel operators through STIYD, we can expect to see more and more of this kind of activity.

"When the JST approached us with a proposal to run their Irish Sea programme we offered our full support in promoting the opportunity. A unique and hugely important aspect to the JST is its ability to cater for people with varying degrees of physical ability.”

Kyle O’Regan of STIYD's youth branch added: “It is great for Irish trainees that the JST has arranged for Tenacious to have an Irish Sea programme. Being able to join or leave in your own country is a major advantage in terms of lowering costs.”

Meanwhile, the JST's Grainne Arntz said the charity has shown its "commitment to Ireland" by scheduling these autumn voyages.

"Three years ago we introduced the Ultimate Transition Year Tall Ship Adventure, a programme whereby groups of Transition Year students from Irish schools experience the challenge of tall ship sailing with diverse people.

"These voyages in the autumn will allow more groups and individuals to avail of the unique JST experience of sailing on a tall ship with people of all ages and abilities.”

The tall ship voyages are priced at £775 per person for the 10-day trip, and £525 per person for the seven-day excursions. To book your voyage with the JST visit their website HERE or call +44 23 8044 9108.

For information on the Irish branch of the Jubilee Sailing Trust visit www.jstireland.ie. For general information on sail training activities in Ireland contact Sail Training Ireland, Port Centre, Alexandra Road, Dublin 1 at 01 887 6046, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.irishsailtraining.com.

STIYD is the national sail training organisation for Ireland and is endorsed as such by Sail Training International. The vision of STIYD is to “provide access to the sail training experience for the people of Ireland”.

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Dublin is set to welcome The Tall Ships Race 2012 with magnificent vessels lining the city quays of the River Liffey from 23rd – 26th August. As final host port, Dublin can expect to see up to 1 million visitors, with a majestic fleet of ships and 3,000 crew expected to visit the city in one of the world's most spectacular maritime events.

As reported earlier on Afloat.ie The Dublin Tall Ships Liaison Team is looking for 150 volunteers to help deliver this fantastic event by recruiting Volunteer Ship Liaison Officers to ensure smooth sailing from start to finish. Officers will be assigned to ships in order to provide support to Captains and crew, take part in the social and sporting events - and leave them with a lasting positive impression of Dublin!

Volunteers of all ages and levels of experience are invited to apply. Marine and language skills are highly sought but not required. Liaison training will be provided in the lead-up to the event.

The magnificent Tall Ships will form the backdrop to a 4-day long celebration, with a host of free events including live music on multiple stages around the Dublin Docklands area, street theatre, markets, fun fairs, and water sports - along with plenty of opportunities to board the ships in port, meet the crews and share their experiences on a Tall Ship.The Tall Ships Race is renowned around the world as one of the key highlights of the sailing calendar, as a leading tourist attraction and in terms of ability to deliver economic benefit to the host city. Register today at: www.dublintallships.ie/volunteers

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In his Irish Independent Sailing Column today WM Nixon says the new Tall Ships Race from Dublin will give an intense flavour of the world of Tall Ship sailing.

It's a novel way to get to a football match, but why not? A new Tall Ships Race has been added to this year's programme, and the course is Dublin to Liverpool. This sailing of the ancient sea route is planned to take place after the Tall Ships have made their major visit to Dublin in late August. With the new football season fully under way, fans might want to spice up their regular journeys across the water.

The new event is an add-on to the time-honoured annual programme, which will see the Tall Ships in all their glory conclude their established shared programme with a race from La Coruna in northwest Spain to Dublin, starting on August 13th, with the sea festival in full swing on the Liffey from 22nd August onwards.

Normally, the fleet would then go their various ways after August 26th, so all credit to those who have grasped this opportunity. Assembling a Tall Ships gathering of this calibre in the Irish Sea, with spectacular square riggers like the mighty Mir from Russia, is usually a major organisational challenge. But they'll all be here anyway, so a little jaunt across to Liverpool – they're calling it the Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta – is just the job, particularly as the Merseyside city and the entire northwest of England are planning to lay on the welcome big time.

It's a very manageable option, and we'd expect that many smaller craft will want to sail along with them. For anyone wishing to get an intense first flavour of the world of Tall Ships, it's ideal. Details of places on board are available from dublintallships.com, and irishsailtraning.ie has all the info on the complete programme, with supported berths on offer.

Meanwhile, for those with experience of boats and the sea, a recruiting drive is under way to muster 150 volunteers Ship Liaison Officers to help with the ships and their crews when they arrive in Dublin for that magic time between August 22nd and 26th. When the Tall Ships were last in the Fair City on this scale in 1998, the camaraderie and good will of the skilled waterborne volunteer corps, who had come from all over Ireland, was one of the most highly-praised aspects of the event. Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club in Ringsend became their lively HQ, and did it so successfully that it became "Club of the Year". Those with marine experience wishing to be part of this new officer group, who will be on the ships rather than in a RIB, are invited to contact dublintallships.ie/volunteers.

BREAKING NEWS

They say that if you don't break bits off a racing boat now and again, then she's built overweight. Maybe so, but the current litany of breakages throughout the fleet in the Volvo Ocean Race as they plunge southeast from Auckland and round Cape Horn will surely result in a re-think on specifications.

Franck Cammas and Damian Foxall on Groupama sensibly had their breakage a hundred miles before getting to Auckland, and were able to make temporary repairs which maintained their lead in the leg from China. Repaired and reinforced in Auckland, they're now leading in the race round the Horn to Brazil, zooming into the South Atlantic yesterday, chased from 16 miles astern by Kenny Read in Puma. Overall leader Telefonica (Iker Martinez) has suffered bow damage while lying third, and will have to stop in Ushiai for repairs, as will Chris Nicholson's fourth-placed Camper in Chile, while Sanya's broken rudder proved unfixable afloat and they're returned to New Zealand, and the boat will rejoin the race in Miami courtesy of Maersk Shippin and DHL.

As for Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi, they took a midnight capsize in their stride. With all instruments down, they were caught aback in the pitch dark, and suddenly the canting keel was hauling them over rather than keeping them upright. Sea conditions were ferocious, but they managed to sort it – otherwise, it would only have been a matter of time before they sank. Since then, they've sorted hull delamination problems with through bolts and lots of sticky (looks like they've been raiding the hardware section in Woodie's) and they're sailing on, but still in the full power of the Southern Ocean, 1700 miles astern of the leading pair.

W M Nixon's sailing column is in the Irish Independent on Saturdays 

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The Dublin Tall Ships Liaison Team is looking for 150 volunteers to help out at the Dublin Tall Ships event this August.

Organisers are recruiting Volunteer Ship Liaison Officers to ensure smooth sailing of the final leg of the event.  Officers will be assigned to ships in order to provide support to Captains and crew, take part in the social and sporting events - and leave them with a lasting positive impression of Dublin.

Volunteers of all ages and levels of experience are invited to apply. Marine and language skills are highly sought but not required. Liaison training will be provided in the lead-up to the event. The full notice is available to download below.

The Tall Ships will form the backdrop to a 4-day long celebration in with a host of free events including live music on multiple stages around the Dublin Docklands area, street theatre, markets, fun fairs, and water sports - along with plenty of opportunities to board the ships in port, meet the crews and share their experiences on a Tall Ship.

 

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#TALL SHIPS – The new Sail Training Tall Ship "SS Alexander Von Humboldt II" is set to visit Cork harbour this weekend.

When launched last September the ship was the first square rigger built in Germany since 1958. Its launch was previously covered by Afloat.ie here.

This is one of the ships that will visit Dublin as part of the Tall Ships Races 2012 next August and Sail Training International Youth Development (STIYD) will be placing trainees on board during the race.

STIYD has been awarded a number of bursaries under the "Oman Bursary Scheme" by Sail Training International and some of these will be used to fund trainees on the Alex 2 as she races to Dublin.

The Master of the Vessel Captain Klaus Ricke has extended an invite to the board and management of STIYD to visit and a representative group will attend.

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#TALL SHIPS – Dublin organisers will fund a minimum of twenty-five trainees to sail aboard the Tall Ships when Dublin is the final host port for The Tall Ships Races 2012 later this Summer. Magnificent Tall Ships lining the city quays north and south of the river Liffey from 23rd – 26th August. This is truly one of the most spectacular maritime events in the world and the local organisers of The Tall Ships Races 2012 Dublin Event are seeking young people looking for the adventure of a lifetime to become trainees who will engage in a life learning experience on a Tall Ship from A Coruña in Spain to Dublin over a 10-day period in August. Trainees will take part in every aspect of running the ship from setting sails to scrubbing the deck and the best part, absolutely no sailing experience required.

To celebrate the event, local organisers have committed to funding a minimum of twenty-five trainees to sail aboard the ships during this race. To apply for this funding you must be aged 18-25 and live in Dublin City Council Administrative Area. "This is a truly amazing opportunity for any young person, it promises to be the experience of a lifetime. Trainees will form strong friendships with other trainees from around the world, get to sail a beautiful square rigged ship in the old traditions of seafaring and learn a new set of life-skills. We are providing an incredible opportunity by funding 25 trainees and this opportunity is available to people with all levels of physical ability," commented Mary Weir, Project Manager, Tall Ships Races Dublin Event

"In addition to the twenty-five funded trainee places there are a wide range of opportunities available for those who wish to fund their own voyage as a trainee as part of The Tall Ships Races 2012 in what promises to be a truly unique experience" added Michael Byrne, Manager, Sail Training Ireland for Youth Development

The Tall Ships Races 2012, organised by Sail Training International and presented by Szczecin is renowned around the world as one of the key highlights of the maritime calendar, as a leading tourist attraction and in terms of ability to deliver economic benefit to the host city. Sail Training International is a charity established to harness sail training to develop and educate young people, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background.

The magnificent Tall Ships will form the breath-taking backdrop to a 4-day long celebration in Dublin in August with a host of free events including live music on multiple stages around the Dublin Docklands area, street theatre, markets, fun fairs, and water sports along with plenty of opportunities to board the ships in port and meet the crews and share their experiences on a Tall Ship.

As final host port, Dublin can expect to see up to 1 million visitors attending the event in August from the 23rd to the 26th, where a majestic fleet of ships and 3,000 crew are expected to visit the city.

Anyone looking for the adventure of a lifetime as a trainee on a Tall Ship should log onto www.dublintallships.ie/trainees and register their details. By doing so they will receive regular information updates. Trainees seeking funding are required to meet certain criteria. For those that meet the criteria there is an option within the registration form to apply for the funding. However, potential trainees not eligible for funding can still register to fund themselves to sail in this spectacular race.

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#TALL SHIPS – A new Tall Ships race across the Irish Sea from Dublin to Liverpool will start in August immediately after the Tall Ships Race finishes on on Dublin Bay.

The City of Liverpool, Sail Training International and Dublin are set to join forces to host the inaugural Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta which will see a fleet of majestic Tall Ships race from Dublin to Liverpool from Sunday 26th August 2012.

An action packed four day event is being planned by Liverpool City Council and Sail Training International to welcome the international fleet of Tall Ships and crews to the North West from 30th August – Sunday 2nd September 2012.

A fleet of Tall Ships including the magnificent Russian Class A square rigger Mir, will make a spectacular return as they race to the city for the first time since The Tall Ships Races 2008, which attracted around 450,000 visitors.

The Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta is an additional event to complement Sail Training International's flagship summer race series The Tall Ships Races, presented by Szczecin, which will visit the host ports of St. Malo, Lisbon, Cadiz and La Coruna before concluding in the final race port of Dublin. A selection of the international fleet will then sail on to Liverpool.

Commenting on the Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta, Peter Cardy, Chief Executive of Sail Training International, said: "Liverpool has a rich maritime history and has been a great friend to sail training which has helped to develop a strong willingness throughout the Tall Ships family to return to the city. We hope that the Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta could become a recurring fixture in the busy calendar of events that is enjoyed by the residents of Liverpool as well as the many visitors to this fantastic city."

The general public can expect to see the international crews take part in a colourful and vibrant crew parade in addition to being able to set foot on board a Tall Ship for a glimpse into what life at sea is really like. A full entertainment programme will be revealed later this year.

Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Joe Anderson, said: "Liverpool has a long, proud maritime history. I myself have a personal affinity with the sea as I joined the Merchant Navy and sailed from Liverpool all over the world.

"I'm committed to doing everything I can to celebrate Liverpool's strong maritime heritage. Nautical events in Liverpool are extremely popular and there's always a huge amount of excitement around the visit of Tall Ships to the city.

"Everyone in Liverpool has an affinity with the sea and we're delighted to be able to host this inaugural visit which will attract thousands of visitors to the city.

"We're already working on how we can make the four day event a memorable occasion for everyone involved and in doing so, showcase our iconic waterfront."

Sail Training International is also offering the chance for young people to take part in the Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta via its Sultanate of Oman Bursary Scheme, established to help fund up to 100 people (16-24 year olds) to take part in events organised by the charity each year.

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#TALL SHIPS - The organisers of the Tall Ships Races visit to Dublin are inviting young people to get involved by becoming 'trainees' aboard the fleet as they race from Spain to Ireland this summer.

The 18 ships (as of last November) are set to sail from A Coruña in northern Spain to Dublin on the final leg of this year's race over an estimated ten-day period from 13-23 August.

Young people across Ireland can now apply to be trainees on board the tall ships and take part in a voyage as crew. No previous experience is necessary.

Open information days are planned for this weekend from tomorrow (Friday) 17 February to Sunday 19 February from 12pm to 6pm daily at the CHQ building in the IFSC, close to the Jeannie Johnston museum.

Anyone that is interested in taking part or receiving further information can register at www.dublintallships.ie/trainees/

Meanwhile, organisers are also making funding available for the young people of the capital.

The Dublin City Tall Ships Funding will cover the costs of 25 trainees from Dublin to sail on the ships as they race from Spain.

Any youth organisation within Dublin City Council Administrative Area can nominate members of their organisation. Alternatively, individuals may apply and seek the nomination of a youth organisation such as a youth group or community group; school or college; sports club or Scouts group.

Details about this funding programme and other opportunities are included in the information bulletin attached below.

For further information contact trainee recruitment officer Michael Byrne at [email protected].

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#TALL SHIPS - The flagship vessel for an Asgard-type sail training programme in Cork has been locked up in a boatyard since 2007, the Irish Examiner reports.

The Omar B was supposed to be the focus of a Youthreach project based in Bantry for early school leavers. But the schooner has spent the last four-plus years in storage in Baltimore, and has been deteriorating due to lack of maintenance - despite the scheme still notionally running, the newspaper report says.

Five two-man dinghies purchased with grant money have also reportedly spent most of 2011 in storage.

Co Cork's VEC has now put the €150,000 sailing programme under review following concerns over storage costs and lack of direction for the project.

The 75ft Omar B was donated to the CCVEC by owner and builder Don Attig in 2003 and refitted for use by students thanks to generous voluntary funding. Attig said the boat was of immense benefit to students who would not otherwise be in education.

The Irish Examiner has much more on the story HERE.

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Naval Visits focuses on forthcoming courtesy visits by foreign navies from our nearest neighbours, to navies from European Union and perhaps even those navies from far-flung distant shores.

In covering these Naval Visits, the range of nationality arising from these vessels can also be broad in terms of the variety of ships docking in our ports.

The list of naval ship types is long and they perform many tasks. These naval ships can include coastal patrol vessels, mine-sweepers, mine-hunters, frigates, destroyers, amphibious dock-landing vessels, helicopter-carriers, submarine support ships and the rarer sighting of submarines.

When Naval Visits are made, it is those that are open to the public to come on board, provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate up close and personal, what these look like and what they can do and a chance to discuss with the crew.

It can make even more interesting for visitors when a flotilla arrives, particularly comprising an international fleet, adding to the sense of curiosity and adding a greater mix to the type of vessels boarded.

All of this makes Naval Visits a fascinating and intriguing insight into the role of navies from abroad, as they spend time in our ports, mostly for a weekend-long call, having completed exercises at sea.

These naval exercises can involve joint co-operation between other naval fleets off Ireland, in the approaches of the Atlantic, and way offshore of the coasts of western European countries.

In certain circumstances, Naval Visits involve vessels which are making repositioning voyages over long distances between continents, having completed a tour of duty in zones of conflict.

Joint naval fleet exercises bring an increased integration of navies within Europe and beyond. These exercises improve greater co-operation at EU level but also internationally, not just on a political front, but these exercises enable shared training skills in carrying out naval skills and also knowledge.

Naval Visits are also reciprocal, in that the Irish Naval Service, has over the decades, visited major gatherings overseas, while also carrying out specific operations on many fronts.

Ireland can, therefore, be represented through these ships that also act as floating ambassadorial platforms, supporting our national interests.

These interests are not exclusively political in terms of foreign policy, through humanitarian commitments, but are also to assist existing trade and tourism links and also develop further.

Equally important is our relationship with the Irish diaspora, and to share this sense of identity with the rest of the World.