National sail training vessel seafest 2017

“This is a hugely positive development. The Taoiseach has only been in position a short time and this highlights the need for investment in youth development, cross-border cooperation and investment into the maritime economy,” remarked Neil O’Hagan, Atlantic Youth Trust executive director.

EY (Ernst & Young) has conducted a detailed Business Case and Options Appraisal to ensure the best use of potential public and private investment. This involved shared RoI and NI government costs along with corporate and philanthropic donors.

Irish State investment will slightly exceed the €3.8m insurance payout following the sinking of Asgard II in 2008. Ongoing costs are justified as an investment in youth development; cross-border relations and maritime eduction, O’Hagan outlined.

“Ten days on a tall ship can alter a young person’s path in life. It we can keep one person out of juvenile detention for just one year, the €1,250 investment will save the State €339,733 (the current annual cost of €340,983 per youth in Oberstown),” he said.