The Greencastle-Magilligan ferry service is expected to go to tender imminently after Donegal County Council received tender documents from Causeway Coast & Glens Council, the ‘Journal’ understands.
The former operators, Foyle Ferry Company Ltd, stopped service last November and did not renew the contract for the summer season. It is understood the contract for the new ferry service will be for a three-year period and it is expected to go to tender in the near future.
Magilligan businessman, Owen McLaughlin runs The Point Bar at Magilligan.
He said the bar has been flooded with calls in recent weeks asking about the ferry.
“There is definitely a demand for the ferry. We’ve had calls steady asking ‘when is the boat on?’” said Mr McLaughlin.
The businessman hopes to see the ferry back in operation soon, but insists sailing needs to continue well into the evening.
“I’m glad to hear the tender is going out soon. It’s all good news because everyone wants the boat back, but it needs to be run more like a commercial enterprise rather than knocking it on the head at 8pm in the summer months. That’s madness,” said Mr McLaughlin.
Sinn Féin’s Cathal Ó hOisín, said last month he was “confident the service will be saved and this will be a long term investment”.
SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan said: “The fact that it’s going out to tender is very positive considering there appears to be significant commercial interest, which I hope will result in the ferry being re-instated for the summer.”