Wexford People

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Jobs market plain sailing for boat building trainees

The National Heritage Park was the scene of a boat launch last Friday evening as participants in a Wexford Area Partnership boat building project took a newly-constructed cot on its maiden voyage.

The Mayor of Wexford, Cllr. Dominic Kiernan raised the anchor on the new craft and watched it take to the Slaney waves before being handed over to the park.

The innovative project involved local unemployed people who have been busy over the past several months honing their woodwork skills and undertaking personal development training.

The new cot wasn't the only achievement the participants had to show for their efforts either - the real success story is that all of them have been placed in employment or further training.

'Doing this course has really changed my opinion of myself and made me value what I have to offer. It has opened up a world of possibilities for me', said one of the participants.

The Mayor extended special thanks to Larry Duggan, shipwright and boat builder who volunteered his time and expertise and was an integral part of the project.

Mayor Kiernan said Wexford was a town proud of its maritime history and heritage. Men from practically every street in the town went to sea and served the merchant navies of the world with distinction.

'A love of the sea is part of the very fibre of nearly every Wexford person and if you look closely enough you will discover a seafaring link in every family'.

He said Wexford Area Partnership was to be complimented on its initiative in rekindling the great Wexford tradition of cot building.

Following the success of the course, a new project is now being planned. Prospective participants should contact Wexford Area Partnership, (053) 23994.