Youth Council


Who are we?
The Sail Training Ireland Youth Council is a group of passionate young people within Sail Training Ireland, set up to provide a ‘voice of youth’ in the organization.

Although we all come from different backgrounds and have different levels of sailing knowledge and experience, we have all taken part in at least one Sail Training Voyage, and developed an interest in sailing.

What is our Purpose?
The council was set up to support Sail Training Ireland in developing the activity of sailing within Ireland. Our main aim in this sense is to help promote the accessibility of Sail Training amongst young people in Ireland.

The Council also represents young people in Sail Training Ireland, through offering opinions and suggestions in any endeavors that involve young people. As well as this, the Council can be utilized as a pool of volunteers to help out at events where necessary, as well as representing the organization at public events.

What is our Vision?
The vision of the Sail Training Ireland Youth Council is to become a steady supporter of Sail Training Ireland, inspire young people to take part in Sail Training and bridge the gap between the organization of Sail Training Ireland and the young people of the country.

How is the Council Organized?
The Sail Training Ireland Youth Council comprises of 8 young people between the ages of 16 and 30. Each of whom were nominated by youth groups which have worked in conjunction with Sail Training Ireland, and have all taken part in at least one Sail Training Voyage. The Council was originally formed in October 2016, during a Causeway Funded Weekend in Belfast. It is modeled after the Sail Training International Youth Council. The Chairperson of the Irish Council will also represent Ireland in the International Council.

When invited, up to two Youth Council members will attend Sail Training Ireland Board meetings. The purpose of this is to provide updates upon request of any ongoing activities, offer opinions on projects concerning young people and to keep the remainder of the Youth Council updated.

Current Youth Council Members

Catriona Cavanagh, Chair, 26. Catriona is a Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist from Greencastle, Co. Donegal.  Catriona had the opportunity to get involved in Tall Ship sailing in 2012; she was introduced to this by her local sailing club. Catriona completed an Irish cross-border initiative on the TS Pelican of London. Catriona sailed a return journey from Ireland to the UK as a trainee before becoming a Watch Leader, subsequently completing more voyages. Catriona has been actively promoting Tall Ship sailing since at festivals and other events, including Representing Ireland on Sail Training International’s Youth Council.

Liam El-Masry Vice Chair, 18. An Irish-Egyptian born in Malahide, Liam is currently studying Engineering in University College Dublin, with hopes of joining the Military in the future. Liam first started sailing Optimists in Skerries at the age of 11 and developed a passion for sailing. Liam’s interest in Tall Ships began in 2015 on board the Spirit of Oysterhaven as part of the Drogheda Bursary Scheme, before rejoining the ship in 2016. The following Summer, Liam joined the Tall Ship, Maybe, for a two week trip down the Irish Sea, and again in October, to Sail down to Portimão, Portugal.Liam is still a regular Dinghy Sailor, and an Instructor at Malahide Yacht Club. He has a love of the outdoors, and plans on living a life of adventure. “Don’t live a life below deck!”

Caoimhinn Ní Dhuinn, Secretary, 18. Attending 1st year of college in Limerick School of Art and Design, Caoimhinn started sailing in the summer of 2015 and her first voyage was on TS Spirit of Oysterhaven from Cork to Drogheda. It was on this voyage that Caoimhinn found her love for sailing. Caoimhinn partook in another voyage on the same ship in the summer of 2016, from Drogheda to Derry. Caoimhinn does not have access to any local sailing so she cannot sail as much as she wants, however, she makes up for this through other water activities such as surfing, body boarding and kayaking.

Eoghan Burke, Public Relations Officer,19.  From Waterford Eoghan has been sailing for many years in the family’s Dublin Bay Mermaid. He took part in voyages on the Brian Ború and Creidne, and as a result got involved with Sail Training Ireland, and became part of the inaugural Youth Council.  He had such a positive experience on both voyages, and was so inspired that he decided to take up a career at sea. He is now in his first year of Nautical Science in the National Maritime College of Ireland, and couldn’t be happier. He hopes that you will take part in a Sail Training voyage too, it is truly the most fulfilling and positive kind of experience.

Aoife Ledwidge O’Brien, Funding Officer,  26.  A chemical engineer from County Wicklow, Aoife began sailing on Tall Ships in 2010 through a last minute opportunity made available by the Irish Girl Guides. Following this voyage she was recommended for the volunteer position of Bosun’s Mate with the Jubilee Sailing Trust. Aoife used her college holidays to spend a total of 6 months on board, working with the JST on their mission to integrate both able bodied and disabled sailors. Aoife is currently holds the position of Chairperson on the Sail Training International Youth Council where she works on and co-ordinates various projects to promote Sail Training at home and abroad.

Laura Slattery, Youth Council Member, 18.  A 6th Year Student from Co. Meath, Laura began sailing in 2016 when she was given the opportunity to sail for a week on TS Spirit of Oysterhaven after her scout group leader signed her up. She was inspired to join the Youth Council after her experience on board the Spirit of Oysterhaven. In the Summer of 2017, she took part in another week long voyage on TS Maybe. From here Laura’s love for sailing only grew even more. She is one of the founding members of the Youth Council and is working with her fellow Youth Council members on various goals and projects, in order to spread the word of Sail Training in Ireland.

Sophie McGlue, Youth Council Member, 19.  Currently studying Education and Training in St. Pat’s College, Drumcondra, Sophie initially got into sailing in 2015 through scouts, when she was given the opportunity to sail on TS Spirit of Oysterhaven from Cork to Drogheda. Since this amazing experience, Sophie has tried to become as involved as possible in sailing in whatever way she can; this includes attending maritime festivals all over the country, taking part in sailing activities, being an active member of Courtown Sailing club and joining her college’s Sailing Club. Sophie aspires to do more tall ship sailing in the future whenever the opportunities arise.

Flora Igoe, Youth Council Member, 20, currently studying in Dublin, from Cavan, Flora began sailing tall ships in 2014. She sailed as a trainee on both T.S Morgenster and T.S Pelican of London, returning to volunteer as chief’s assistant. Flora volunteered as cook on T.S Maybe during summer 2017. She is an ISA dinghy instructor and her favorite place to be is on the water.

Interested in Joining the Youth Council?