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Irish Sail Training Ship Hopes Given Boost by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Galway Seafest

3rd July 2017
The Irish Atlantic Youth Trust’s proposals for a 40 metre all-Ireland sailing training barquentine received a boost at the weekend when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar expressed interest in the project at Galway Seafest The Irish Atlantic Youth Trust’s proposals for a 40 metre all-Ireland sailing training barquentine received a boost at the weekend when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar expressed interest in the project at Galway Seafest

The up-beat mood of the weekend’s Galway Seafest was moved several notches higher by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, when he revealed at Galway Port that his government is broadly in favour of the concept of an all-Ireland sail training ship, which is promoted by the Atlantic Youth Trust writes W M Nixon.

The recent turbulence in Irish politics had induced a mood of pessimism about any implementation of this complex project, with some of the difficulties involved being outlined recently in Afloat.ie. However, we indicated the likelihood that, if such an idealistic scheme were ever to achieve fruition, then it would most likely be through the Enda O’Coineen-inspired Atlantic Youth Trust, whose Chief Executive, the popular Neil O’Hagan, has been quietly beavering away lobbying on the project’s behalf on both side of the Irish border.
neil ohagan2Neil O’Hagan of the Atlantic Youth Trust has lobbied tirelessly for a Tall Ship to Governments on both sides of the Irish border
For O’Hagan, the story from Galway by Lorna Siggins in the Irish Times is well-earned encouragement in his challenging quest. The Taoiseach said that sail training was “one of the areas where we could have North-South co-operation, and also very important cross-community co-operation”.

He acknowledged that many people deeply regretted that the sail training brigantine Asgard II was no longer available, but indicated that his government is well aware of the €16 million cost of a replacement. Nevertheless his own enthusiasm for the concept was in evidence, and he clearly stated that discussion about the new ship “’is certainly something we can engage in”.

varadkar ohagan3On board together. Aboard ship in Galway, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, Hildegarde Naughton TD, and Neil O’Hagan of Irish Atlantic Youth Trust discuss the possibilities for Ireland’s 40-metre Sail Training Barquentine

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