'Jeanie Johnston' offer rejected
THE Department of Defence has refused an offer from the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) to use the Jeanie Johnston as a replacement for the sunken training vessel Asgard II.
The Jeanie Johnston, which is also owned by the State, is unsuitable because of its lack of speed, its required crew size and its inability to participate in tall ships races, says the department.
A spokesman said it would be unable to fund the crew of 11 that the Jeanie Johnston requires as "the budget was already stretched with the Asgard II that required a crew of five".
"We would love if the Jeanie Johnston would fit the bill, but the Department of Defence doesn't consider the vessel suitable for training," said a spokesman.
The Creidna, built in the 1970s and due to be available after refurbishment in May, will be used as a temporary solution. "A contract to replace the Asgard II will hopefully be placed within the next 12 months", said a spokesperson for the Department of Defence yesterday.
The Dockland Authority said: "We would be more than happy to make the Jeanie Johnston available to the Department but they have made a decision to use the Creidna and the Norwegian training ship Christian Radich".