Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Minister for Regional Development meets with Lough Foyle Ferry Company operators.

24 February, 2009 - by Cathal Ó hOisín

Sinn Féin Minister for Regional Development, Conor Murphy has met with the operators of the Lough Foyle Ferry Company to listen to concerns regarding it long term future. The meeting was organised by East Derry MLA Francie Brolly.

Speaking today Mr Brolly said:

"I welcome the chance to bring this issue to the Minister for Regional Development. With me were the operators of the Greencastle to Magilligan ferry service, Mr Jim McClenaghan and Jack McInerny.

"The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the future of the ferry service.

"For the last two years the ferry has been experiencing some finical difficulty. Among the reasons for this are, the steep rise in the price of fuel over this period, the poor weather last summer and now the downturn in the economy and the near parity of the euro.

"The service is jointly controlled by Limavady Borough and Donegal County councils, whose resources are pressed at the moment given the current economic climate and any hope of subvention to offset running cost has not materialised.

"The ferry company wanted to explore with the Minister the possibility of his department assuming responsibility, shared with his opposite number in Leinster house.

"The Minister undertook to explore the possibilities and clearly understood the importance of this vital link between Co. Donegal, Co. Derry and the North Antrim coast

"Also discussed was the continued presence of a security zone at Magilligan and it negative impact upon ferry users but in particular tourists. It is imperative that this eyesore and hindrance be removed.

"The Minister will be contacting the relative authority in Westminster with a view to having the issue surrounding the ridiculous security point being resolved as soon as possible."

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