23 August 2019
By Elaine Murphy
Lord Mayor John Sheehan, County Mayor Christopher O’Sullivan, and Brendan Keating, CEO, Port of Cork today welcomed the Irish vessel Brian Boru and the Tall Ships Pelican of London and Maybe into the Port of Cork. The three ships having completed voyages as part of the Cork Sail Training Bursary Scheme 2019 included 50 young people onboard as trainees.
A presentation ceremony also took place in the Port of Cork to celebrate the achievement of 25 young people from all backgrounds and a range of abilities across Cork City and County who completed voyages aboard the Irish vessel Brian Boru and the Tall Ship Pelican of London during the 2019 season. These voyages were made possible by a group of generous sponsors including Port of Cork, Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Ardmore Shipping, and The Institute of Master Mariners.
Five trainees from the City and County crewed the Pelican on voyages from Belfast to Liverpool and on to Dublin. These trainees formed part of groups with up-to 28 trainees and mentors on each voyage, which were part funded using EU “Erasmus +” funding and involved active educational programmes of youth development as part of “Youth Exchange” projects.
In addition, 8 Cork based young people took part on the Asgard Armada voyages aboard Pelican and Maybe sailing in convoy with Brian Boru and arriving alongside in Cork today.
The Cork Sail Training Bursary Scheme was established in 2014 to provide access to Sail Training voyages on tall ships and large sailing vessels for young people from the region. Now in its sixth year the scheme is one of the largest and most active on the Island of Ireland and runs in parallel with similar schemes now in operation under Sail Training Ireland in Belfast, Drogheda, Dublin, Waterford, Derry and Arklow. The participants are nominated through a network of youth and community groups in Cork and places are available to young people from all backgrounds and with all abilities. The scheme has supported approximately 140 trainees since 2014 and looks likely to grow from strength to strength over the coming years.
“It’s fantastic to see the impact these sail training voyages can have on the young participants. It can lead to a real transformation and in such a short period of time” Daragh Sheridan, Sail Training Ireland.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Brendan Keating Chief Executive of the Port of Cork said: ‘We are proud to support these sail training voyages which give young adults an opportunity which some have described as life changing. Not only do they learn how to sail and skipper these fantastic vessels, they are taught personal development and become better equipped to deal with challenges, not just at sea but later in their everyday lives. Well done to all the sail trainees this year.’
The certificates were presented to trainees by Lord Mayor of Cork City John Sheehan and County Mayor Christopher O’Sullivan.