CORK county councillors have written to the Taoiseach and Simon Coveney, the Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food urging them to look at State intervention to save the Swansea – Cork ferry.
A last gasp rescue plan to save the ferry, which was operated by the West Cork Tourism Co-op, failed at the final hurdle two weeks ago when Enterprise Ireland declined to stump up €400,000 for the service citing a breach of competition regulations.
Now county councillors are looking to the Government to save the service which has brought more than 150,000 visitors to Cork over the past two years.
County Mayor Tim Lombard who has long been a champion of the service said that the ferry is worth up to €30 million to the region over a two year period and as the second city in the State, Cork should have a direct sea connection to the UK.
Councillors now want the Government to purchase Fastnet Line, the operating company, from the official receiver before the process of off-loading assets begins.
Cllr Lombard said that if the State got involved it may be possible that investment would come from the local authorities in Cork and Kerry and possibly private equity as well.
Speaking to West Cork Times, the mayor said, “Councillors in Cork are very keen to support the ferry and we want to see this progressed as soon as possible.
“If we can’t get a service this year we certainly want to secure it for next year at least. It is a huge loss not only to Cork but the whole region.
“We have written to the Minister and the Taoiseach together and hope to get a meeting soon to try and get things moving again,” he said.