THE Easter deadline to reopen the Dursey cable car will not be met, according to a spokesperson for Cork County Council.
Ireland’s only cable car, which is located on the Beara Peninsula, closed last year on March 21st because the two towers holding the cable car needed to be replaced.
The work was supposed to be completed by November, but the deadline was changed to January, after it was confirmed that the track ropes, operating the cable car, did not pass inspection.
In the meantime, a ferry service was provided, three times a week, following vociferous complaints by the islanders and people farming the land.
An order for new track ropes was placed with a Swiss supplier and they were delivered in March with the Council’s contractor TLI on standby to install the new ropes.
Now, the Council is saying that ‘essential repairs to replace island and mainland tower infrastructure for Dursey cable car have been affected by recent adverse weather and related difficult sea conditions.’
The spokesperson said the cable car will be operational for islanders and visitors by ‘early April’ but no date was given.
The Council said the resumption of service is conditional on an inspection and approval by the Commission for Railways Regulation.
The local authority said it will ‘publish the date the cable car service will resume when all the construction and regulatory issues have concluded.’
Dursey islanders are now using the rib provided as a ferry to access the island, for over a year.
Islander Martin Sheehan said he cannot understand why the service is not operational. ‘The towers have been built and the ropes are on,’ he said. ‘We were told it would be open for Easter,’ he added, ‘but now we are being told it won’t – yet we have had zero contact from the Council.’