Foyle Ferry tender set to close at noon today

The Foyle ferry in service during the summer of 2016. (File pic)
The Foyle ferry in service during the summer of 2016. (File pic)

The re-issued tender for the Foyle Ferry service is set to close at noon today, but Inishowen councillors have expressed their concerns over the funding of the service.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the Inishowen Muncipal District, Colr Martin Farren said he welcomed the work being put into the tender, but he has received a number of enquiries from tours and clubs hoping to use the ferry.

“I hope things work out, it’s so important that we get things up and running,” he said.

Colr’s Albert Doherty, Jack Murray and Nicholas Crossan expressed concerns about the distribution of Development Fund Initiative (DFI) funding to community groups who have already applied.

If a tender if successful, it is likely subvention will be taken from some DFI funding.

“It is now mid May and the groups do not know if they are eligible for funding,” said Colr Doherty.

Colr Murray said a a number of groups have lost out on money because of the delay, as they would have used it to draw down match funding.

Colr Nicholas Crossan asked: “What happens on Friday if we still haev the status quo with no tender? Groups were promised money in November and we still can’t give it to them.

“I would go as far as saying we donate the same money to this ferry as we do with Buncrana to Rathmullan because we were in the same situation.”

Colrss and council officials agreed to meet on May 18 to discuss the DFI funding as the tender process is closed.