Young Irish citizens should apply to the European Commission’s DiscoverEU Initiative, which will supply tens of thousands of young Europeans with free rail travel passes around the European Union next year, Minister Martin Heydon TD for Kildare South has said.

Minister Heydon made his comments as applications opened for the initiative this week.

“DiscoverEU offers young Europeans the opportunity to participate in a travel experience like no other. It allows young people to experience one of the European Union’s key benefits of free movement for all EU nationals. Furthermore, it allows young people to learn about the EU’s cultural heritage, history, and diversity – as well as offering them the chance to meet thousands of other like-minded EU citizens.”

Minister Heydon continued, “Any Irish (or EU) citizen, who was born between 1st July 2001 and 31st December 2003, can apply for one of 60,000 DiscoverEU rail passes. These can be used at any stage between 1st March 2022 and 28th February 2023.

“To date, over 70,000 free travel passes have been given to young Europeans since the programme first began in 2018 – including thousands of Irish citizens who have made invaluable memories and many new friendships.

“While this initiative presents an exciting opportunity, young people should apply as soon as possible. The closing date for applications is 1pm (GMT) on Tuesday, 26th October 2021.

“So whether you wish to roam the cities of Lisbon and Helsinki, or everywhere in between, be sure to visit the DiscoverEU Portal (” concluded Minister Heydon.