Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 14 December 2016
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs
Ferry Services to Inis Mór: Discussion
I thank the Cathaoirleach for allowing me to contribute. I am not a member of the committee. I welcome the officials, including Councillor Joe Byrne from Galway County Council and the representative from the Aran Islands. No one could question the set-up of the pier. It is an excellent facility. I compliment Galway County Council on the tremendous work done and the investment made. It was needed and the facility is now state-of-the-art in nature.
Unfortunately, year after year issues arise with services to the Aran Islands. If it is not the air service, it is the boat service. It seems to be an annual battle to try to keep the services going to the islands and to keep the people living on the islands. One thing about all Oireachtas Members is that we work together on this to try to find a solution. We must find some solution because we cannot continue to have this annual battle to keep the services and to keep people living on the islands. That is crucial.
Perhaps my question has been asked already. Is a ferry service available from Doolin to the Aran Islands or is it a cargo service? If a ferry service comes from Doolin, are the operators paying the levy to Galway County Council? Does the issue only relate to the service from Ros a' Mhíl?