DDA buys Jeanie Johnston for €2.7m

THE replica famine ship The Jeanie Johnston, which cost €15.5 million to build, has been sold to the Dublin Docklands Authority (DDA) for €2.7million.

The DDA has confirmed that it is completing talks with the owners of the Jeanie Johnston to purchase the tall ship as a tourist attraction for the river Liffey.

The ship is currently berthed in Cork and is owned by Kerry Group plc, Shannon Development, Kerry County Council and Tralee Town Council.

The ship is already scheduled to visit the Liffey as part of the Maritime Festival, which will see 12 historic tall ships in Dublin from June 17 to 19.

It is also set to take part in the tall ships race in Waterford in July.

The replica of the 19th century famine ship cost €15.5 million to build and was completed in 2002.

Tralee Town Council, which borrowed to complete the construction project when it ran over budget, is committed to annual repayments of €235,000 towards the debt. The repayments are due annually for the next 14 years.

The original 18-sail vessel brought a total of 2,500 Irish immigrants on 16 voyages to the New World in the 19th century without losing a single passenger.

A spokesman for the Jeanie Johnston project, Frank Hayes, said: “We are pleased with the deal as the board feels this is the best possible outcome for this project.”

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