TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny launched the Tall Ships festival in Waterford city today, a day after the 50 participating ships arrived. One vessel almost didn’t make it after sustaining damage en route in a collision with a 40-foot yacht.
Fáilte Ireland estimates that the event will generate some €30 million as up to 500,000 people visit Waterford before the ships head on towards Scotland on Sunday. Ianród Éireann have added extra services between its Dublin, Kilkenny and Clonmel stations and Waterford.
Officially opening the races in Waterford today, Kenny said they were a “celebration of international friendship providing participants with a wonderful opportunity to learn a lot about themselves and, in particular, the value of teamwork.”
The Taoiseach thanked the hundreds of volunteers in Waterford and the south-east for their help in hosting the races, saying: “You are a credit to our country and we thank you.”
A range of events and performances have been planned for the city this weekend, as well as parades and food and craft markets. For further details of quayside events, check out the festival’s website.
For those of you gearing up to attend the festival over the coming days, WLRFM has compiled a list of ’50 facts about the Tall Ships’, including that 6,662 trainees were involved in the 120 vessels which took part in last year’s event.