Company fails to reply to queries in relation to future of Rosslare route as concern grows among employees
CONCERNS are growing amongst Irish Ferries staff operating out of Rosslare Europort as rumours continue to circulate that the company is considering pulling out of the Wexford port and abandoning the Rosslare to Pembroke route.
The company has remained tight-lipped on its plans and despite queries to both the Irish Ferries media contact and a senior company official in Rosslare, there was no response from Irish Ferries at the time of publication.
A lot of the concern stems from the fact that customers cannot book passage on the Rosslare/Pembroke route beyond May 31st of this year. Potentially this could be related to the expiry of the company’s charter on the ship currently working the route – Blue Star 1.
The Greek passenger ferry, with capacity for 1,500 passengers, 100 freight vehicles and up to 700 cars, was chartered by Irish Ferries in March of 2021. The company has faced a number of issues with the ship and it was detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) as recently as December after failing a safety inspection.
It is reported that in the past couple of weeks, Irish Ferries staff members have met with senior management to express their concerns and have also reached out to their union SIPTU to put them on notice.
The lack of information being provided by the company is certainly not doing anything to quell rumours.
This is not the first time Irish Ferries has caused a stir in Rosslare. Back in December of 2018, the company announced its intention to axe its service between Rosslare Europort and France in a move that was described as “a kick in the teeth” by locals at the time.
Since then, thankfully, fortunes at the Europort have drastically turned in a post-Brexit landscape with the port now nearly handling up to 40 sailings per week.
However, the routes operating between Rosslare and the UK have seen more mixed fortune. With Stena Line operating a route from Rosslare to Fishguard alongside Irish Ferries’ sailing to Pembroke, there has been some debate as to whether there is the trade to sustain both routes going forward.
Stena Line’s ownership of the port in Fishguard means its likely to want to hang in there, while back in 2021, Irish Ferries only signed a 10-year deal with Pembroke Dock.