Galway city’s old Aran ferry service to be restored

CEO of the Port of Galway Conor O'Dowd in front of a regular visitor to Galway Docks, the Corrib Fisher.

After a lengthy absence, ferries from Galway City to the Aran Islands will make their return to Galway Docks – with the announcement that Island Ferries will begin operating the service from next year.

From May 2020, a vessel that is currently under construction in the Far East will become the largest domestic ferry on the Irish Coast and “will bring a new experience for passengers, never seen on Galway Bay before”.

That’s according to CEO of the Port of Galway, Conor O’Dowd, who said the new ferry was just one of a raft of exciting developments for the port – including the delivery of a new crane allowing for increased business and long-awaited progress on plans to extend the port.

“The key part is that we have submitted the final compensatory measures and it’s now up to An Bord Pleanála to consider those and to put them out for public consultation,” said Mr O’Dowd, referencing the measures the Port of Galway must take to offset the negative effects of the a new outer harbour on Galway Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

“An Bord Pleanála will then consider the submission received and issue their recommendations,” he added.

Mr O’Dowd said they were hopeful that this stage of the process would progress with relative haste and that they would have progressed further by the end of 2020 – but ultimately, that was out of their hands.

Read full interview in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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