A new tall ship for Ireland (updated, April 2014)

Deirdre Lane and Neil OHagan

Deirdre Lane and Neil OHagan

A new tall ship for Ireland:

Joe Ryan

We look forward to the public announcement of this eagerly awaited project early in 2014.
On the night of the 19th Dec the Pride of Ireland Trust hosted a get together for their supporters, fundraisers and advisers.
Presentations were given by Enda O Coineen and Neil O’Hagan
Enda speaks with passion and drive about a project that has huge potential and is very close to his heart. He wants us to learn from past inconsistencies by building the best vessel possible. The vessel will be used as the centre piece of a youth development organisation.
Neil is more measured but equally committed to getting this project underway. He needs a bulkhead to place his first plaque on, the first of many. It was presented to him earlier this year by Deirdre Lane of the Nautical Institute when he made a presentation to their members.
Enda can draw on many years of experience and the huge success of his concept of “Green Dragon” and attracting the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway.
Neil is the only full-time staff member and has traveled many miles worldwide and in Ireland researching and promoting this project.
Next year he will be even more involved and he hopes that by this time next year that money will be committed in three strands and we will be at the tendering stage.
We were shown concept plans of the “Barquentine” type vessel with three masts of 42m overall length, of almost 500 gross tonnes, with 700sqm of sails and twin auxiliary engines.
This vessel will be built to full passenger ship specs and a feature is a tiered theater style assembly area aft in and area normally occupied by a wardroom. The reason for going for such a high spec demonstrates the focus on welfare and safety.
No formal launch will take place until all stakeholders have been briefed and some capital funding has been secured. The project itself has already clocked up 3 years of research of various types of vessels, designs, training concepts etc.
The idea of youth development is fundamental and draws heavily on a concept that has been developed in New Zealand for 40 years. See http://lugnad.ie/print-of-asgard-ii-by-pat-dover/ print of Asgard II by Pat Dover article on this site and particularly the paragraph on “Why Pride of Ireland?” for details of this concept.
Neil travels to New York for St Patrick’s Day to chase the “American Ireland Fund” among others. A very worthy endeavour supported by the Fund is sending four underprivileged youths from Galway to New Zealand for St Patrick’s Day to undertake a 10 days sail on “Spirit of New Zealand” which will show the benefits that we will be able to achieve on a grander scale closer to home in due course.
Neil mentioned my “Print of Asgard II” project and how it will benefit Pride of Ireland and the Maritime Institute. I hope there are many people out there who would like a great print of our fondly remembered sail trainer as we look forward to its replacement, see “Print of Asgard II” article on “www.lugnad.ie”.
The Marine Institute and lugnad are striving to promote our maritime heritage.


March Update

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I can assure you our relative silence does not mean things have slowed down. We have had an extremely busy few months and below is an update with some of the key outcomes

A) Our Name
Following much consultation on both sides of the border we found that ‘Pride of Ireland Trust’ did not represent the views of all stakeholders and therefore did not represent the ethos of the organisation. In order to create a name that has a true sense of neutrality, a strong maritime focus, a sense of adventure and one that carries weight in America ‘Atlantic Youth Trust’ (www.AtlanticYouthTrust.org) was chosen as our name.

B) Funding
We thank Dermot Desmond, John Fingleton and the NUI Galway Foundation, who have recently joined our founder seed-funding group. Also legal firm Carson McDowell in Northern Ireland is kindly acting on a pro bono basis for the Trust alongside Matheson in the Republic.

Additional seed funding is greatly valued and still being sought but we’re delighted to announce our focus is now shifting to raise the capital funds. Laura McManus, a professional fundraiser from Northern Ireland, has been brought on board to advise the Trust on the capital campaign. She recently managed a capital appeal programme for the Sea Cadets new flagship vessel in the UK.

A number of avenues are being pursued for the first large capital pledge, once we have this in place we will publicly launch the project. Subsequent announcements will be the commitments of both governments, EU funding, philanthropic donors and finally a public appeal.

C) The Ship
Concept drawings are now complete and the final graphics are being produced. She has been designed and will be built to full passenger ship rules making her one of, if not the safest tall ship in the world. The images are for fundraising purposes only and the full contract will be put out to tender in due course. Damen and Dykstra are working with us at present.

Regarding where she will be built we are exploring two options. The best option in terms of price, quality and time and secondly how these factors would be impacted if we were to build all or elements of the ship on the island.

D) Support
The level of support is always growing. One notable development is the renewed interest of the National Maritime College of Ireland that operate on both sides of the border. They have outstanding facilities and courses and we are exploring potential areas to enhance the opportunities for young people.

E) Programme Development
Our ties to the Spirit of Adventure Trust are stronger than ever. Four young people and three youth workers from Foróige have just completed voyages on the ship (funded by a separate donation and coordinated through the Atlantic Youth Trust).

The young people were quoted to say the voyage was “the best 10 days of their lives”, and their youth workers, friends, and family have seen a dramatic change in their confidence, communication skills, and self-esteem. It is this kind of feedback that assures us all the hard work is worthwhile.

What next?
We are now in discussions with key ‘anchor donors’. Until a large capital pledge is in place we will hold off on a public launch. In the meantime we will continue our high level political, governmental, and philanthropic briefings.

If you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions please, as always, feel free to get in touch. Our achievements to date have been heavily reliant on the advice and goodwill shown by our supporters and without it we wouldn’t be on track to deliver a truly iconic project.

The legacy in terms of education, peace and reconciliation, volunteering, justice, employment, enterprise and tourism will be visible for generations to come.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kind regards,

Neil O’Hagan

Executive Director

Atlantic Youth Trust (formerly Pride of Ireland Trust)

Commissioners of Irish Lights / Odyssey Centre

Harbour Road / Queens Quay

Dun Laoghaire / Belfast

Co Dublin / Co Down


Phone: +353 1 2715598

Mobile: +353 864095225


LinkedIn Profile


Joe Ryan, ryan.jjj@gmail.com – member of the Maritime Institute

Update April 2014

New Tall Ship for Ireland – becoming a reality

This concept and even the reality are getting closer due mainly to the thousands of miles travelled every week by Neil O’Hagan around Ireland, North and South and many trips abroad. He is backed all the way by Enda O Coineen who is the driving force behind this project.I will be presenting a cheque for €500 to Neil at the Lecture on the Coastguard on 10th April at the Maritime Museum.

I will be presenting a further cheque for €500 to the President of the Maritime Museum to be used to promote Maritime Heritage. These are the proceeds of the first 50 prints of Asgard II by Pat Dover. This is only a drop in the ocean compared to what is required but it is a tangible link to our most successful training vessel so far and a great way of advertising a project that has huge potential.

Joe Ryan, ryan.jjj@gmail.com – member of the Maritime Institute

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