Potential lifeline for Foyle ferry service

Derry no2-27/8/02-Trevor McBride picture-FERRY-'crossing the devide-at the mouth of Lough Foyle-the ferry Carrigaloe on its way to Greencastle,Co.Donegal(Donegal Hills in background)from Magilligan in the Northern side -see story

Derry no2-27/8/02-Trevor McBride picture-FERRY-'crossing the devide-at the mouth of Lough Foyle-the ferry Carrigaloe on its way to Greencastle,Co.Donegal(Donegal Hills in background)from Magilligan in the Northern side -see story

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The Foyle ferry service between Magilligan and Greencastle may have been thrown a lifeline as officials from both sides of the border meet today to explore options to re-establish the service in the new year.

The directors of the company confirmed recently the vessel has been sold to Frazer Ferries in Carlingford and they will not be operating the Greencastle to Magilligan service in the future. Donegal County Council and Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council are aware the company is not seeking to extend their contract after March 31st, 2016, and will meet today to discuss the situation. The service ended for the winter season on October 4th, so it will not be reinstated before then.

The Foyle Ferry has carried two and a half million passengers since it began in 2002. Some local councillors believe it has huge potential for local tourism in both areas, but requires serious financial support.

At a Causeway Coast and Glens Council meeting on Tuesday, SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan described the service as “a bridge between Magilligan and North Donegal”, stating: “We are where we are, and I do think we should make the best efforts to make sure the service is re-established to take advantage of tourism opportunities.”

Sinn Fein Colr. Brenda Chivers said the former Limavady Council “invested a lot of time and money into the ferry” which she described as important in attracting tourists “so, we need to do all we can to get it back up and running again”.