Martin Riordan - Ferry is a "key priority for the region"

A SPECIAL meeting of Cork County Council will take place at County Hall on Monday morning where councillors will be asked to consider a proposal for funding support from Fastnet Line, the operator of the Swansea – Cork ferry.

Following a period of examinership, the Fastnet Line which is owned by the West Cork Tourism Co-op is seeking support from the Cork County Council to fund the continued operation of the service.

The company is seeking investment of €500,000 in total from several local authorities.

The period of examinership is due to end shortly and a viable plan for its continuation must be presented to the High Court for approval.

The MV Julia. Pic: Fastnet Line

Fastnet Line  is asking for the support of Cork County and City Councils as well as Kerry County Council to help finance a relaunch of the service for 2012.

The service has carried over 153,000 passengers since its launch in March 2010 and is estimated to be worth €40 million to the local economy.

Cork County Manager Martin Riordan said, “As tourism has been identified as a key national and regional job creation objective, the sustaining of this service is a key priority for the region.”

County mayor, Tim Lombard added, “This service provides a vital link between the southern region of Ireland and Britain.

“It is the only Ferry link that we have from Cork to the UK. It has carried over 153,000 passengers to this region since March 2010 which has made a significant contribution to our tourist industry.

“Our economic recovery depends on key industries like the tourism industry and it is vital that we maintain this important link,” he said.