ALLIANCE Assembly member Sean Neeson (East Antrim) has welcomed the announcement by Heritage Minister Andrew McIntosh to establish a National Historic Ships Unit.
Mr Neeson, who represents Northern Ireland on the National Historic Ships Committee, said this could have real benefits for maritime history in the region.
Mr Neeson stated:
“A new Historic Ship Unit is important for Northern Ireland as two ships from here are in the core collection of the National Register of Historic Ships. These are HMS Caroline, based in Belfast, and the schooner ‘Result’, built in Carrickfergus in the late 19th century and now located at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra.
“Being in the core collection means there is the opportunity to source funding for preservation and restoration from grant-giving bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund. Such funding would put the future of historic ships on a more even keel.
“At the last meeting of the Committee, I raised the issue of the Belfast-built tender Nomadic, the ship that went to the Titanic’s aid and which is now awaiting auction at Cherbourg.”