Cam­paign to re­store cross river ferry in Youghal

Irish Examiner - - County On The Rise - Christy Parker

Cork County Mayor Mary Line­han-Fo­ley has rowed in be­hind sug­ges­tions to re­store a ferry link across the Black­wa­ter in Youghal har­bour.

The coun­cil­lor has al­ready broached the is­sue with Trans­port Min­is­ter Ea­mon Ryan and is set to do so again.

The idea was re­cently floated, so to speak, by a vol­un­teer group jour­ney­ing from Ross­lare to West Cork.

The group, split among walk­ers, cy­clists, and kayak­ers, were re­search­ing a ‘Celtic cor­ri­dor’ tourism route, based on cul­ture and her­itage along 350km of coast­line.

The three cy­clists, com­pris­ing a mum and two chil­dren, aban­doned par­tic­i­pa­tion due to traf­fic fears, with the N25 and the 5km R673 link­ing it to Ard­more par­tic­u­larly fright­en­ing.

The cy­clists in­stead trav­elled to Youghal by boat from nearby Mona­trea and the penin­sula known as Ferry Point.

The 1km cross­ing took about 15 min­utes com­pared to 50 min­utes and 10km of cy­cling.

Ms Line­han-Fo­ley wel­comed the vis­i­tors at Nealon’s Quay pon­toon where they spoke en­thu­si­as­ti­cally about the con­cept of a foot pas­sen­ger ferry.

“We found it a safer mode of trans­port while en­abling us to visit more sights,” said Celtic cor­ri­dor ex­po­nent Seán Cor­co­ran.

The county mayor said the idea was be­ing in­creas­ingly cir­cu­lated lo­cally, amid the grow­ing mo­men­tum of Youghal’s tourism in­dus­try.

She be­lieved the evo­lu­tion of the Dun­gar­van green­way along­side the cur­rent con­struc­tions of a YoughalMi­dle­ton equiv­a­lent and an ex­tended Youghal board­walk sig­nals in­creased tourist num­bers and in­ter­de­pen­dence be­tween the two neigh­bour­ing re­gions.

“The ben­e­fit of a ferry ser­vice be­tween the two coun­ties is very ob­vi­ous, espe­cially for tourists who want to park their cars and en­joy more eco-friendly trips,” said the mayor.

Ms Line­han-Fo­ley later re­layed the idea to Mr Ryan dur­ing a video con­fer­ence at County Hall that also in­volved se­nior Cork County Coun­cil of­fi­cials.

“The min­is­ter raised the is­sue of the green­ways and how they might some­how in­ter­con­nect,” she said. “He was then quite in­ter­ested when I men­tioned the ferry. He hopes to visit County Hall shortly and is open to all pro­pos­als.”

Youghal Ur­ban Coun­cil op­er­ated a ferry ser­vice across the river but it ceased around the mid-1950s as pub­lic and pri­vate road trans­port grew.

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