THE Dursey cable car was closed yet again recently and now an independent review is being undertaken to investigate the causes of the closures, following its €1.6m refurbishment last year.
Since its reopening in June of this year, the service – which connects the island to the mainland – has been halted on several occasions owing to ‘technical’ and ‘operational’ issues.
The latest closure last Saturday again caused great inconvenience for people planning to visit the island.
At a Western Divisional Committee meeting earlier this week Cllr Danny Collins sought answers from Cork County Council on the matter.
‘People are travelling there and finding that it’s out of service,’ he said. ‘We need an explanation on what’s happening.’
He referenced a couple from Kilcrohane who took the bus to Allihies on Saturday with the intention of visiting Dursey Island. However, when they got there, they found that the cable car was closed, yet again.
It was also reported that a group of hikers walking from Allihies to Dursey were unable to reach the island and had to turn back disappointed.
Technical issues were referenced in a social media post by Cork County Council as the reason for the latest closure to the service.
Cllr Paul Hayes agreed that when the Council informs the public that the cable car is not running, the reasons for the closure should be given.
A variety of vague reasons, including ‘technical issues’, ‘operational reasons’, ‘repairs’ and ‘unforeseen circumstances’ have all been given by Cork County Council during the many recent closures.
West Cork divisional manager Clodagh Henehan said that while some infrastructure was replaced, the cable car is very old. She said that none of the instances are believed to be connected and that ‘no finger pointing’ can be done until the Council concludes their independent review.
‘We are working hard to find the problem,’ Ms Henehan said. ‘We can only reinstate the cable car when it is safe to operate, and it does not operate when there are safety concerns.’ She said that the public will continue to be informed about the operation of the service.