#TallShips - The Atlantic Youth Trust's Neil O'Hagan has described as "a major breakthrough" the sail training initiative's inclusion in the Government's recently announced Capital Plan for the next five years.
"This is the first clear, public commitment from [the] Government that they intend to work with sources in Northern Ireland to deliver our plans [to build a replacement for the tall ship Asgard II]," said O'Hagan. "More importantly, it is a clear commitment by the Government to invest in youth development, the maritime sector, and cross-border relations.
"Our messaging and objectives have carried through as it states 'This proposal involves a new sail training vessel to facilitate youth development, mentoring, and training on an all-island basis.' When combined with the commitment from Northern Ireland to appoint a representative from the Department of Employment and Learning, this shows true all-island support."
The trust's proposals for a new sail training tall ship for Ireland have already attracted the support of a group of influential business people including financier Dermot Desmond,Denis O'Brien and CPL Resources founder Anne Heraty.