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Ferries in court over pier tensions

THE DIRECTORS of two rival ferry companies are to appear in court in connection with an alleged breach of the peace at Doolin in Co Clare last summer.

In response to tensions, gardai placed patrols at Doolin pier to prevent an escalation in tensions between Doolin Ferries Ltd and a second company, Aran Islands Fast Ferries Ltd, which started taking passengers to the Aran Islands last year.

As a result of a garda investigation, the director of Doolin Ferries, Bill O'Brien, of Lickeen, Kilfenora, and the director of Aran Islands Fast Ferries, Dick Grant of Lahinch Caravan Park, Lahinch, have been summonsed to appear at Lisdoonvarna District Court on May 18. Mr O'Brien is facing a summons of allegedly causing a breach of the peace at Ballaghaline, Doolin, on July 18 last.

Mr Grant is facing a similar summons for August 4 last, where he is accused of using or engaging in insulting behaviour or words with intent to cause a breach of the peace.

Mr Grant is facing a second summons of being the owner of a passenger boat and operating it without a passenger boat licence.

Mr O'Brien declined to comment yesterday, but it is understood he is to vigorously contest the summons. Mr Grant said he is to contest the two summonses.

In response to the quayside tensions in Doolin last summer, Clare Co Council is preparing bylaws to regulate affairs pierside for the coming season.

They are expected to come before the council shortly for adoption.

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