Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the progress of the EU project offering free interrailing tickets to young people.
The Ireland South MEP, who sits on the Culture and Education Committee, said the scheme remains on target to have its first applicants travelling as early as this summer.
“Earlier this year I announced that this project was coming and urged Irish young people to be ready to apply for it,” she said.
“The response my office received from people eager to learn more about the scheme was huge and so I am just keeping my promise to keep people informed on its progress.
“A budget of €12million has now been agreed for the project, which should allow some 20,000 to 30,000 young people across Europe to take advantage of it.
“However, as demand is likely to be much higher than the tickets available it is crucial that Irish young people remain prepared to apply as soon as the scheme opens.
“A website for applications should be up and running by May and I will of course make people aware of when that is opening ahead of time so that they can be prepared to apply.
“This project provides a unique opportunity for young Irish people to explore Europe over a period of up to three weeks at a time of their choosing.
“Nothing broadens the mind like travelling and this project will help young people immerse themselves in an array of European cultures.
“I am determined that as many Irish people as possible are able to take advantage of the scheme so stay in touch and watch this space.”