Cross border ‘scoping exercise’ for Foyle Ferry

The Magilligan Ferry on its launch day. LV3-705MML
The Magilligan Ferry on its launch day. LV3-705MML

Cross border efforts are being made regarding the future of the Magilligan to Greencastle ferry service.

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 officials met recently to discuss the matter.

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said at a recent North South Ministerial meeting the matter was discussed.

The minister said the Loughs Agency has held a number of meetings with Minister Joe McHugh, local councillors and the Lough Foyle Ferry Company to “explore the wider operational and development opportunities for the service”.

“The initial discussion focused on its sustainability. The agency has carried out a preliminary scoping exercise aimed at facilitating a broader, more in-depth study of the service by a consultant to be engaged by the local authorities,” said Minister O’Neill.

“Ministers commented that it is important for the development of the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway coast that we protect the current infrastructure, including the ferry service between Greencastle and Magilligan.”

Sinn Féin East Derry MLA Cathal Ó hOisín said: “It is very much welcome that the ministers, both North and South, have come together to initiate a scoping exercise aimed at a broader and more indepth study of the service. This is timely as the public contract goes out shortly for the maintainance and enhancement of the ferry service.”

The Foyle Ferry has carried two and a half million passengers since it began in 2002. The service ended for the winter season on October 4th.