LAST DITCH EFFORT TO SAVE VALENTIA FERRY
THE ‘acid test’ of the government’s commitment to rural
Ireland rests on resolving the Valentia ferry situation, Ferry Manager
Richard Foran insisted this week.
Mr Foran’s remark follows confirmation that three senior
Government ministers are to meet later this month to discuss cross-departmental approaches to securing the long term future of the ferry.
The emergency meeting will include
Gaeltacht Min Heather Humphreys, Rural Development Minister Michael Ring, and Transport & Tourism Minister Shane Ross.
“If Minister Ring is serious about rural Ireland, then this is the acid test for him. If this fails you can be sure of one thing: this government has no interest in rural Ireland. If we leave this ferry go, the whole island will fall as a tourist resort,” said Mr Foran.
He added that detailed plans are in place for a new €2.8m ferry, which is vital to tourism in Valentia. However, the project can’t proceed without Government support.
“We have absolutely nothing here except tourism... We need to hold on to and develop tourism any way we can,” Mr Foran said.
The Valentia Ferry which carried over 100,000 cars to the island during this summer season.