A NEW round of Government funding for specialist sail training will give young people from Clare an opportunity to experience life at sea, according to a Fine Gael TD Joe Carey.

“The Department of Defence has announced the provision of funding to Sail Training Ireland (STIRL) to provide young people with access to training programmes on board tall ships and other vessels.

“There were 341 trainees last year, including eight from Clare,” Deputy Carey explained.

“€85,000 will be provided in the current year and again in 2020, subject to SAIL Training Ireland meeting the necessary criteria.

“The idea is to provide places to deserving trainees, particularly young people who are disadvantaged, people with disabilities and those who may not have had the opportunity to avail of such an experience due to their circumstances.

“The programme teaches several key skills such as self-confidence, leadership, team building, resilience, motivation and an understanding of diversity.

“Organisations that refer young people for these programmes include the HSE, Garda Diversion Projects, Tulsa, the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Irish Refugee Council.

“This financial support by the Government will ensure that many other young people can learn what it is like to go out at sea and all of the benefits that experience brings,” Deputy Carey added.