By Kieran O’Mahony
CORK County Council has apologised to people who were near-stranded on Dursey Island when the country’s only cable car was closed.
It is understood that several tourists wanted to use the cable car to get to the mainland from the island, but had to get a lift by boat instead.
‘Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Dursey Island Cable Car was unable to operate on Sunday May 28th,’ said a Council spokesperson. ‘Cork County Council would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused and are taking steps to ensure this does not happen again.’
However, it has since emerged that the cable car was not operating at certain times last week, either, after two separate posts on Trip Advisor claiming it was closed at different times.
‘No one running the cable car today we waited from 12.40 to 14.00,’ said ‘Patrick B’, adding: ‘Kids were very disappointed. There was a lot of tourists waiting around also, it was a disgrace.’
The Southern Star failed to make contact with anyone to verify the current opening times of the cable car.
Bantry-based Cllr Mary Hegarty told The Southern Star she wasn’t aware of what happened last week, but that there has been an ongoing issue with the service since the former cable car operator Paddy Sheehan died suddenly, in April.
‘Cork County Council is going to advertise in-house for a number of permanent operators so that they can have a rota going, so there will always be someone able to operate the cable car if someone is on holidays,’ said Cllr Hegarty.
‘However, this will take time, as there will have to be interviews and procurement, as well as training on how to use the machine and we’re now coming into a busy summer season and with the Wild Atlantic Way, it’s not ideal that it’s not in place.’
Cllr Hegarty said that also they must respect the service the late Paddy Sheehan and his family gave to the cable car service, where she describe him as doing things ‘above and beyond the call of duty.’
Independent Cllr Danny Collins said that the issue was raised at an Islands meeting recently and added that if no one from within the Council applied for the position, then it would be advertised publicly.