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Dursey is still ‘cut off’ from the mainland

April 25th, 2022 7:05 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Dursey Island farmers still have no access to the mainland following the closure of the cable car. (Photo: Anne Marie Cronin)

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DURSEY Islanders are still without a ferry – or any connection – to the mainland.

As reported last week, Cork County Council has reissued tender documents and said there will be ‘no undue delay’ in providing a ferry service to the island, which has been cut off since the cable car was closed for repairs.

Recently, the preferred tenderer informed the local authority that the company would not be able to secure the necessary marine licence to operate the ferry service.

Cork County Council immediately re-advertised the contract and a spokesperson for the local authority said it is ‘actively seeking to fulfil its public procurement obligations.’

The spokesperson said it was ‘disappointed’ that the emergency procurement process did not secure a valid tender and expressed the hope that the process would ‘shortly produce a successful outcome.’

The spokesperson also indicated that the re-advertised tenders are based on ‘modified terms’, which might make the process easier to finalise.

But they also added: ‘All necessary legal, marine licensing, safety and contractual obligations will need to be satisfied by the operator before a contract can be awarded and a service becomes operational.’

Joseph Sullivan, who farms on the island, said he had ‘no news, no updates’, but also ‘no dilemmas’ to deal with on Dursey over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

‘We have heard nothing from Cork County Council, or the public representatives,’ he added, ‘so I am assuming there is no decision yet in relation to the provision of a ferry service.’

The cable car will be closed for essential maintenance right throughout the island’s busiest holiday period. It is one of West Cork’s most popular summer attractions, but Cork County Council said work needed to be urgently carried out on the towers which run the cables across the dangerous Dursey Sound.

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