#TALL SHIPS - The chairman of the group that brought the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway this summer has urged Ireland's maritime interests to take stock as the Tall Ships Races Festival takes over Dublin this weekend.
In a letter to The Irish Times yesterday, Let's Do It Global/Ocean Youth chair Enda O'Coineen said there is an opportunity within the new Integrated Marine Plan to build a new cross-border national flagship to replace the Asgard II and promote youth sail training as a platform for "education and character development for young people" in Ireland.
O'Coineen writes that it is "critical, as islanders, to realise that we are becoming just spectators, withdrawing from the ocean, instead of educating our youth to embrace it and its wealth."
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the new 'ocean wealth roadmap' is specifically geared towards exploiting the potential for 'blue growth' in the Irish economy.
An informal event will be held at A&L Goodbody in the IFSC tomorrow morning amid the Tall Ships Races festivities to discuss plans for a new flagship for Ireland, which have been in the works since last year.
The draft plan has had input from a broad range of stakeholders in youth, tourism, ports, construction, the Naval Service and nautical colleges, the coastguard and the diaspora. And O'Coineen adds that opinions and input will be needed and appreciates, especially in how the proposals can integrate with the new Marine Plan.