Saturday 21 September 2019

'Absolute disaster' for the southeast as Irish Ferries unlikely to operate France service next year from Rosslare

Irish Ferries' W.B. Yeats
Irish Ferries' W.B. Yeats
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

In what's been described as an "absolute disaster" for the southeast, Irish Ferries has said it's unlikely to operate a service between Rosslare and France next year.

The ferry firm, part of the stock market-listed Irish Continental Group, informed passengers earlier today of the move.

"Irish Ferries wish to inform our customers that we're unlikely to operate a service between Rosslare and France in 2019," it said.

"We continue to keep this situation under review. Our new WB Yeats ship will operate from Dublin to Cherbourg," it added.

Sinn Fein Brexit spokesman David Cullinane blasted the decision.

"For the southeast region to lose on of its main ferry routes to Europe would be an absolute disaster," he said.

Mr Cullinane said he would raise the matter with Transport Minister Shane Ross.

Brendan Howlin, the Labour leader and Co Wexford TD, also criticised the plan by Irish Ferries.

The ferry company said that a majority of its customers have a "clear preference" for the more central location and easy access of Dublin.

"Our new WB Yeats ship will operate from Dublin to Cherbourg, with 20pc greater passenger capacity up to four days per week," it added.

Last year, up to 19,000 passengers had their holiday plans thrown into disarray after Irish Ferries announced delays to the arrival of the WB Yeats ferry, which was built at a German shipyard

The €154m ship - part bankrolled with an €80m loan facility from the European Investment Bank - was due to start sailing between Ireland and France and the UK from July 30 last summer, but all sailings up to September 13 were later cancelled.

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