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Ladies and gentlemen

As Chairman of Coiste an Asgard, the company responsible for the operation of “Asgard II”, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all here today when it is my pleasant duty to make presentations on behalf of an Coiste to a number of organisations that have made their own substantial contributions to the development and promotion of sail training in Ireland.

The presentations, as you can see, take the form of framed prints of the very fine painting “Irish Tall Ships 2005” by Kenneth King, one of the foremost painters of marine subjects in Ireland. It shows our three Irish Tall Ships, “Dunbrody”, “Jeanie Johnston” and “Asgard II” at sea together under full sail. Not only does the painting capture in an impressive way the lovely lines of our three Tall Ships but it also symbolises the close spirit of co-operation that already exists between our organisations and which Coiste an Asgard would like to see developing further.

Coiste an Asgard was fortunate in being able to acquire Kenneth King’s lovely painting which it is proposed to use, for publicity purposes, on suitable occasions in the future. We were also pleased to secure the agreement of the artist to have a limited number of prints of the painting made for presentation purposes.

I wish to present one of the prints to the Dublin Dockland Development Authority. The Authority has made an outstanding contribution to sail training in Ireland by the acquisition of “Jeanie Johnston” on which sail training cruises are carried out from its base in Dublin Port. Furthermore, the Authority must be commended for its organisation of the annual “Festival of the Sea” which has already attracted many of the world’s best known Tall Ships to Dublin Port. It gives me great pleasure to ask Loretta Lambkin to accept this presentation on behalf of Dublin Dockland Development Authority.

The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Trust was responsible for the building of “Dunbrody”, the largest of Ireland’s Tall Ships. As you know, “Dunbrody” is a replica of a ship of the same name, which was used to carry victims of the Great Famine of the 1840’s across the Atlantic from Ireland. The new ”Dunbrody”, which is based in New Ross, is now promoting sail training and in recognition of the contribution of the J.F.K. Trust to sail training I wish to present a copy of the painting to the Trust and would ask Dr. Terry Rogers to accept it on their behalf.
Waterford City and the Port of Waterford hosted a visit by the international fleet of Tall Ships to Waterford Port in 2005. The visit was a great success and generated an estimated revenue of some €34 million for the Waterford Region. Sail Training International was so pleased with the facilities provided and the arrangements made at Waterford that they have decided that another visit by the fleet to the port will take place as part of the International Tall Ships Races in 2011. Coiste an Asgard congratulates Waterford City Council and Waterford Port for securing such a visit against strong competition from other European ports. The Council has recently decided to sponsor sail training cruises for up to 25 young people each year, mainly on “Asgard II”. In recognition of the valuable contribution of the Council and the Port to sail training, I wish to present a copy of the painting to each of them and I would ask Mayor Mary O’Halloran to accept it on behalf of the Council and Captain Darren Doyle to accept it on behalf of the Port.

Finally, I wish to present a copy of the painting to Dublin Port Company Chairman Joe Burke. In recognition of Dublin Port Company’s contribution to sail training I would ask Joe to accept this presentation on its behalf.

I would also like to thank Enda Connellan for making the Company’s facilities available to us today and for the generous hospitality which is being provided.

Thank you all for coming.


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