Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
356. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the tendering process currently underway for the subsidised ferry service to Clare Island will deliver only two sailings per day; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30355/21]
As the Deputy will be aware, this relates to a procurement matter, which is still underway. This process is being undertaken in keeping with the standard approach taken for ferry services subsidised by my Department.
As is standard with Requests for Tender (RFTs) issued by this Department for ferry services, the frequency of sailings requested is a minimum acceptable number. Prospective operators are encouraged to include additional sailings and services above the stated minimum required, and commonly do so.
The RFT does not in any way limit or restrict the number of sailings that operators can supply. Where there is a demand for extra sailings, operators may, and do, provide additional sailings. As with all schedules, timetables are discussed and agreed with the island communities prior to the commencement of a service.