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New 'sail and rail' ticket to allow young people to travel to France next summer, says Taoiseach

Ahead of the visit, the Taoiseach said he was looking forward to his meeting with Macron.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin meeting with the President of France, Emanuel Macron.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin meeting with the President of France, Emanuel Macron.
Image: Phil Behan/Department of Foreign Affairs

Updated Nov 24th 2022, 6:00 PM

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN met with French President Emmanuel Macron today in Paris where the two leaders held discussions on the Celtic Interconnector, the economy and Ukraine.

Speaking after their meeting, the Taoiseach the two leaders discussed the prospect of a ‘sail and rail’ ticket targeted towards young people for travel between Ireland and France.

“So literally, Dublin to Paris with one ticket or Cork to Paris with with one ticket,” he said, adding that it would be competitively price.

“Our officials have been working on that and we’re setting a very ambitious target to of next summer,” said the Taoiseach. 

Martin said the ‘sail and rail’ option is a sustainable way of travel for people into the future, and it dovetails with the Ireland and France’s climate agenda.

The two leaders also also discussed energy and the future creation of a European grid, which the Taoiseach said “is essential”.

He welcomed the signing of contracts to build an electricity inter-connector between Ireland and France – due to be completed in 2026 – which will be the first to link Ireland to the grid on the continent of Europe. 

It will deliver greater security of supply and will help drive the green transition to which both leaders said they are firmly committed to.

The two leaders also discussed offshore wind energy into the future, not just the placing of offshore wind farms, but the ecosystem around their construction, such as the supply of industrial components, said the Taoiseach. 

Macron and Martin also discussed the crisis in Ukraine, with the Taoiseach stating that both men discussed the need to hold strong as winter approaches, and as Russia continues its attacks on vital civilian infrastructure.

He said Ukraine’s citizens are facing into a very difficult winter without heat and electricity.

The discussed the need for EU to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, particularly heading into the winter months.

The Taoiseach and French president made clear their unequivocal support for the people of Ukraine, and condemned Russia’s use of energy as a weapon. 

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Tadgh McNally

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