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All-Ireland sail training programme needed – Cullinane

5 July, 2011

Speaking in the Seanad today Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane called on the Government to facilitate the introduction of a new all-Ireland sail training programme.

He pointed to the huge success of the Tall Ships event in Waterford and the lack of sail training facilities on the island. He said through cooperation with the Assembly in the North and the Oireachtas in the South proposals could be advanced to deliver a new national sail training programme.

Speaking today Senator Cullinane said

“On September 11th 2008 the Irish Sail Training Ship, the STV Asgard II sank. The ship has not been replaced and Ireland is without a sail training programme. This is sad given that we are an island nation steeped with a rich maritime history. The Tall Ships event recently held in Waterford was a huge success and an outstanding festival. It set a new benchmark for festivals in this country. I commend all of the organisers, volunteer, civic and business leaders who played their part in making it a success.

“It is regrettable that the island of Ireland is without a ship or a sail training programme. I have spoken to the Deputy First Minister in the North Martin McGuinness about the potential of an all-island venture. He is enthusiastic about the idea and is willing to explore what could be achieved. I am sure this is an area where we can see real north/south cooperation and the establishment of a new training programme and a new ship. I welcome a statement from the Leader of the Seanad that he is supportive of such an arrangement and his willingness to have the matter progressed by Government.”

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