There have been calls for the return of the Greencastle to Magilligan Ferry in time for the Irish Open at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in the summer.
Billy McCaul, manager of Greencastle Golf Club says the return of the ferry in the run up to and during the golf competition could have major benefits for the whole Inishowen area.
This year’s Irish Open will be staged at Royal Portrush for the first time since 1947. The European Tour confirmed on Friday that the tournament will take place at Portrush from 28 June to 1 July.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday Mr McCaul said their main priority is to have the boat up and running again soon.
“The ferry has been a godsend for us at the golf club, and if the council could have it back operating in time for the Open it would be great not only for us but the whole area.
“Depending on the number of people who come up to the Open, places around Portrush could fill up quickly so maybe people will come over on the ferry and stay around Greencastle. We’re all happy the Irish Open has come up to this part of the world, now hopefully it will be a precedent for the British Open coming next.”
The Golf club manager says they are currently offering reduced price membership rates for people who live a certain distance away from the course.
“This could the perfect chance for people to come and try out the golf course and see what is on offer in the area.”
Moville Labour councillor Martin Farren has also called for the return of the ferry, ahead of the Donegal County Council budget meeting tomorrow.
“Its vital we find the funding to get the ferry back up and running as soon as possible, not just for the Open at Portrush, but also the Clipper Challenge which will bring a lot of people to Inishowen in the summer. Thee ferry has proved very successful since it started and it is important to get that back.”
Colr Farren hopes they will have the boat up and running again by St Patrick’s Day, but that it all depends on the crucial Budget meeting today.
“We have made representative to both governments to provide money to run the ferry, but so far that has proved to be unsuccessful. - we’re going to have to try and source the money to fund the ferry from somewhere. From a tourism perspective we need it running when the Clipper boat comes in the summer as well as the Irish Open, which will of course bring a lot of people to Inishowen.”