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With still no ferry, patience on Dursey Island is running out

April 19th, 2022 8:30 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Martin Sheehan said with fodder running low, animals would have suffered if neighbours hadn’t helped each other out. (Photo: Anne Marie Cronin)

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CORK County Council has revealed that its preferred provider to offer a ferry service to cut-off Dursey Island has pulled out of the process.

On Monday of last week, the ‘preferred tenderer’ informed the Council it wasn’t in a position to secure the necessary marine licence to operate the ferry.

‘The Council is disappointed that the emergency procurement process that it undertook did not secure a valid/compliant tender,’ a spokesperson told The Southern Star. It said it will now invite new tenders. ‘It is hoped that this will shortly produce a successful outcome,’  it said. But now islanders said they are losing patience.

Local man Martin Sheehan had complained about having no option but to stay on the island since the cable car closed for repairs on March 31st last. He also highlighted the difficulty he and other members of the island’s farming community are having in tending their livestock.

Mr Sheehan said one farmer had been running low on fodder for his animals and that the animals would have suffered if others hadn’t bridged the gap.

Another farmer, Joseph Sullivan, confirmed that one of his cows had died at the weekend and that the vet had to make his own way to the island.

‘This is not satisfactory,’ he said, ‘it is a huge animal welfare issue, but there are also people on the island who haven’t got their shopping for the last two weeks.’

Mr Sullivan called on Cork County Council to expedite the proposed ferry service.

‘If this is quickest they can work,’ he added, ‘you wouldn’t want your life depending on them.’

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