Call for contingency plan as Inis Mor islanders face withdrawal of winter ferry service

Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Galway West TD Sean Kyne is being urged to provide a contingency plan for Inis Mór islanders who are set to lose their winter ferry service this evening.
It comes as Island Ferries Teo has reaffirmed its intention to suspend the service until March 2017 – citing the ‘negative fiscal conditions’ created by the local authority.
The dispute with Galway County Council concerns passenger levies to be charged at Kilronan Pier.
Galway West Sinn Fein Senator Trevor O’Clochartaigh says alternative arrangements must be put in place by Minister Kyne’s department to ensure islanders are not left stranded.
Councillors will tomorrow be asked to reduce the passenger levy from 80c to 40c per passenger – and to outright scrap the €5 passenger fee for permanent residents on the island.
It follows a meeting held today with Acting County Manager Kevin Kelly to discuss the dispute, which centres on a 2011 bye-law which introduced the ‘per-passenger’ levy system.
Jason O Sullivan, who is representing Island Ferries Teo, says the County Council has left them with no other option this evening but to withdraw the service.

Photo: Norman Media