Standoff continues in Inis Mór ferry crisis as service to be withdrawn this evening

Galway Bay fm newsroom – A stand off is continuing in the Inis Mór ferry crisis as the winter service is set to be officially withdrawn this evening until next year.
A resolution will be sought at the County Council annual budget meeting tomorrow in a last minute effort to save the service.
It comes as Island Ferries Teo has reaffirmed it’s intention to suspend the service until March 2017 – citing the ‘negative fiscal conditions’ created by the local authority.
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 this morning with Acting County Manager Kevin Kelly to discuss the dispute, which centres on a 2011 bye-law which introduced the ‘per-passenger’ levies at the centre of the crisis.
Island Ferries Teo has confirmed that it is pushing ahead with the immediate withdrawal of the service to the largest Aran Island – and the last ferry will be at 6 this evening.
Galway County Council has yet to issue a statement on the latest development and the planned withdrawl of winter services.
Jason O Sullivan, who is representing Island Ferries Teo, says the County Council has left them with no other option.
Cathy Ni Ghoill of Comharchumman Forbartha Arann Teo is pleading for the ferry to remain in operation pending a resolution.