THE procurement process for a five-year subsidised ferry service to Whiddy Island has commenced.
Tim O’Leary, who has – together with his partner Kathleen – been providing the ferry service to Whiddy Island for the last 27 years, said they will be seeking the renewal of the five-contract.
Tim said: ‘My two ferries – the main ferry, the Lantern 11, and the back-up ferry, the Ocean Star 111 – have been doing the run for the last ten years and have lots of life in them yet.’
On average, he said they make 29 trips to the island every week, right throughout the year, but the number increases during the summer months.
During the lockdown, the service went down to two ferries a day, but it increased to three when the islands reopened on
Monday, June 29th.
Tim confirmed: ‘We, in conjunction with both the department and the islanders, will be reviewing that again with a view to increasing the number even more in about three weeks’ time.’
The ferryman and publican confirmed that he hopes to reopen his bar business at the end of July. Meanwhile, he predicted that their new accommodation complex could be finished and ready to welcome guests by mid-August.