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TD Collins says Dursey ferry plan is ‘scraps off the rich man’s table’

May 2nd, 2022 1:30 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

Deputy Michael Collins (pictured) said it was expected that while the cable car was being repaired, a full seven-day ferry service was the least the people of Dursey Island and the Beara peninsula deserved. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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A LOCAL TD has slammed the proposal to give Dursey Islanders a three-day ferry service to the mainland as ‘scraps off the rich man’s table’.

Residents and those farming on the island have been cut off since the cable car closed at the start of April for urgent repairs on the two cable towers.

Local Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O’Sullivan posted last week that there was ‘finally some white smoke’ on the attempt to secure a temporary ferry service.

‘A service provider has been selected,’ he wrote, and ‘contracts are to be sorted by Monday (April 23rd).’

At time of going to press, on Wednesday, the Council stated that it was ‘currently engaging with the company with respect to contractual matters’.

Deputy O’Sullivan said the service would be provided for ‘an average of three days service per week, which isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly better than no service at all.’

But this week Deputy Michael Collins said it was expected that while the cable car was being repaired, a full seven-day ferry service was the least the people of Dursey Island and the Beara peninsula deserved, and ‘not scraps off the rich man’s table.’

Deputy Collins stated to the Taoiseach: ‘If the Dart had to be taken out for repair in Dublin, would you provide a three-day service to replace it? No you would not! But you do expect the people of Beara to accept a three-day ferry service to their homes.’

He asked the Taoiseach to request Minister Heather Humphreys to secure ‘adequate funding for a seven-day ferry service which the islanders, farm owners and holidaymakers want and deserve’.

He added: ‘Nothing less is acceptable.’

One islander told The Southern Star he had heard ‘rumours’ that the service is to run three times a week at one hour before high water, and one hour after.

‘I don’t know if this is true,’ he added, ‘but if it is, it is not going to be of much help because it means people can only leave the island for two hours at a time. You can’t leave Dursey and go into Castletownbere to do your shopping and be back in two hours.’

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