Fine Gael MEP Colm Markey has encouraged young people to apply for free EU rail passes as part of the latest round of DiscoverEU.
Young people who were born between the 1st of January 2004 and the 31st of December 2004 are eligible for selection.
Successful applicants may travel for a minimum of one day up to 30 days between March 1st 2023 and February 29th 2024.
The Midlands-North-West MEP said anyone thinking of applying should do so immediately.
He commented, “35,000 passes are up for grabs in this round but are likely to be snapped up quickly so I would encourage young people in Ireland to sign up as soon as possible either as an individual or a group of up to 5 people on the DiscoverEU website.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of freedom of movement in the EU, explore new cultures, develop life skills and connect with people all over the continent.
“Irish residents will have special permission to travel to mainland Europe by plane or ferry due to its geographical location while young people with a disability or special needs will be entitled to additional support.”
Markey said those selected to travel would also receive a discount card for use across Europe.
“I’m delighted to see the rollout of the DiscoverEU discount card which will be a massive help to young people as they travel around the continent. The card will offer discounts on cultural visits, learning activities, sports, local transportation, accommodation, food and other services. This makes the programme an even more attractive option for students who might be worried about day-to-day costs”, he added.
Markey concluded, “This round opens at 11 o’clock this morning (Tuesday October 11th) until 11 o’clock on the 25th of October and anyone who is too young to apply this time shouldn’t worry as there will be another chance in spring as well as next autumn. Applicants should have their passport details ready and be prepared to take part in a short quiz. The very best of luck to all those applying!”