Irish Govt invests €2.5m in ferry services in Cork and Mayo

Island communities in Cork and Mayo to benefit from investment in ferry and cargo services.

The Irish Government has revealed more than €2.5m worth of investments in new ferry services in west Cork and Mayo.

The Department of Rural and Community Development has announced a new five-year contract for a subsided ferry service to Clare Island in Mayo.

“I particularly welcome the level of service of four daily return sailings which will be invaluable to island residents who travel to the mainland on a daily basis”

The Government also announced new contracts for ferry and cargo services in west Cork.

The new services will strengthen mainland connectivity and provide a boost for tourism.

Clare Island ferry service

The €1m contract has been agreed between the Department of Rural and Community Development and O’Malley Ferries (Clare Island) LTD and will provide for 4 daily return sailings from Clare Island to Roonagh pier on the mainland.

In addition to the core service, the operator will also provide an additional extra weekly ‘fast ferry’ sailing that will be scheduled at the island community’s discretion.

This sailing offers great flexibility by allowing islanders to attend mainland-based activities such as sports training programmes; late work commutes etc, without needing to wait until the next scheduled sailin

“I particularly welcome the level of service of four daily return sailings which will be invaluable to island residents who travel to the mainland on a daily basis,” said Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, TD.

“It will be particularly important to the families of secondary school students that currently board on the mainland.

“I want to commend the community on Clare Island for the constructive role they played during engagements with my officials. I look forward to building on this relationship in the months to come.”

Also today, Minister Humphreys announced two new contracts for the provision of a ferry and cargo services to the islands in west Cork.

Cork ferry service

A €1m contract has been agreed between the Department and Carberry Isle Ferries for the provision of a ferry service between Sherkin Island and the mainland for the next five years.

The service will provide for eight daily return sailings during the summer schedule and 7 daily return sailings during the winter.

The Department has also agreed a three-year contract with Carberry Isle Ferries, valued at €557,000, for the provision of a heavy cargo contract for Sherkin, Long Island, Heir Island and Cape Clear.

This contract will provide the island communities with 55 cargo sailing days per year over the term of the agreement.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 2 July 2021