Cape Clear’s new ferry to honour Fastnet Rock

March 19th, 2023 7:05 AM

By Jackie Keogh

The new ferry, before the name change, on her arrival in West Cork last October. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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WEST Cork’s new fast ferry has officially been given a name change. 

The Spirit of Doolin is now to be known as Carrig Aonair, which is the Irish name for The Fastnet.

Shortly after it was purchased by Cape Clear Ferries, it went into operation in Cork because it is very suitable for indoor, winter social events.

It proved to be a great venue for pre-and-post Christmas events, so much so that it won a new enterprise award at the Cork Business Awards.

The Carraig Aonair will continue to be in use in Cork up to and including Paddy’s Day, but it will be back in West Cork by Easter, where it will provide a fast ferry service from Schull and Baltimore to Cape Clear and its namesake, The Fastnet.

Séamus Ó Drisceoil, secretary of the ferry company, told The Southern Star they were legally obliged to advertise the name change.

‘Doolin is a long way away and The Fastnet is much closer to home,’ he said.

‘We have been delighted with the reception that the boat – which has indoor accommodation for 100 passengers, as well as an onboard bar and café – has received in Cork city,’ he added.

‘We are pleased, too, with the way the service is going from strength to strength here in West Cork,’ said Séamus, referring to the recent Wild Atlantic Way Award for Tourism it received at The Southern Star and Cork County Council’s Business and Tourism Awards ceremony.

Cape Clear Ferries purchased the 200 Pax Fast Ferry from O’Brien’s of Doolin, with a view to expanding their range of services and to cut travel time to the island and the Fastnet by half.

‘It’s a modern, stylish vessel,’ said Séamus, ‘and it is in superb condition with a top speed of 20 knots.’ 

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