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Displaying items by tag: Aran Islands

#AranIslands - Ferry services to Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands will resume this evening, while talks continue to find a long term solution with regard to a year-round service.

The Connacht Tribune writes that Island Ferries, Gaeltacht Minister Sean Kyne and County CEO Kevin Kelly met for talks this morning as Inis Mór residents faced into a second day without a ferry service. 

The Island Ferries service ceased on Wednesday, and was due to remain out of action until March. 

Last evening, County Councillors gave CEO Kevin Kelly a mandate to meet with Island Ferries on their behalf.

Today’s meeting was also attended by Gaeltacht Minister Sean Kyne and as Afloat previously covered he had called for the Naval Service to provide a short-term service to residents.

In a statement to NewsBreak, Galway County Council has confirmed that Island Ferries, as a gesture of goodwill, will resume its service to Inis Mor from 5 this evening until January 4th.
In the interim, talks will continue in a bid to ensure a year-round service for islanders and visitors.

Published in Island News

#AranIslands - Ferry services to the mainland from the largest of the Aran Islands will be suspended till March from tomorrow following a last-ditch effort to extend winter sailings.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Inis Mór residents were guaranteed their ferry till the end of today (Wednesday 30 November) pending a Galway County Council meeting this week to discuss a long-running dispute over passenger levies.

However, ferry operator Island Ferries Teo has now confirmed to Galway Bay FM that it will withdraw the island's winter service to from tomorrow (Thursday 1 December) till 17 March next year, citing “negative fiscal conditions”.

Published in Island News
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#AranIslands - Inis Mór residents have a guaranteed ferry service for two more weeks pending talks over the operator’s planned withdrawal from the island till spring.

Island Ferries Teo confirmed to Galway Bay FM that services from the Galway mainland to the largest of the Aran Islands would continue till Thursday 1 December, two weeks from today (Thursday 17 November).

That’s two days after Galway county councillors are scheduled to discuss the company’s ongoing dispute over passenger levies on 28 November.

As previously reported in Afloat.ie, the ferry operator intends to suspend its “commercially unsustainable” Inis Mór winter service till mid March next year unless the issue of levies is addressed.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

#AranIslands - Major repairs to an undersea power cable between Galway and the Aran Islands have been completed more than two months after a fault left residents on Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr without power for several days.

According to Galway Bay FM, repairs to the subsea cable were more complex than anticipated, requiring the use of specially trained divers and a diving pod.

However, grid power has now been restored to the islands, which has been using generators transported days after the fault in early August, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

#AranIslands - “Policy decisions beyond our control” have been cited by Island Ferries Teo for its suspension of services between the mainland and the largest of the Aran Islands from November till next spring, as Galway Bay FM reports.

The move follows a long-running dispute over a council-imposed passenger levy for the non-PSO ferry route to Inis Mór that’s been subject to sharp fare increases over a number of years.

Earlier this year a deal was reached to extend ferry services to the island that were slated to end in January, after a Supreme Court ruling that forced the company to pay landing charges, according to TheJournal.ie.

However, the company now says it has reached an impasse with the Government and Galway County Council and had been left with no course of action other than to suspend the “commercially unsustainable” winter service.

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

#MarineNotice - Repair works are currently ongoing on the Inis Mór–Inis Meáin cable weeks after a fault left the Aran Islands without power for a number of days.

The works, which began last Saturday 10 September and will continue for another week, weather permitting, are being carried out from an offshore platform manoeuvred with the assistance of workboats, as detailed in Marine Notice No 39 of 2016.

The tug ABBE is also operational in the vicinity of the platform during the repairs. Both platform and tug vessel maintain a listening watch on VHF Channels 12 and 16 for the duration of the project.

The platform is displaying day shapes and night lights as required in accordance with the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGS).

All vessels, particularly those engaged in fishing, are requested to give the area a wide berth and keep a sharp lookout in the relevant areas.

Another recent Marine Notice advises of a programme of maintenance and inspection on the Corrib subsea facilities from this week for the next three week.

Marine Notice No 38 of 2016 says the work will all take place within the 500m Safety Zone and will involve carrying out a programme of maintenance to investigate and repair some of
the subsea facilities as required.

The support vessel Olympic Ares will carry out the maintenance and inspection using a remote operated vehicle or ROV. The vessel will be listening on VHF Channel 16 throughout the project.

Published in Marine Warning

#AranCargoship - The cargsoship that transported generators to restore electricity supply to two of the Aran Islands this week, Afloat has identified as a former US Army landing craft vessel, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The generators were craned off the MV Chateau-Thierry, which among its services, Lasta Mara Teo operates a roll on / roll-off service from Rossaveel, Co. Galway.

As previously reported the subsea cable fault left almost 400 residents of Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr without power for four days, was restored at the beginning of this week. Work, however to repair the subsea cable could take up to four weeks.

The Galway registered twin-screw, Chateau-Thierry operates a Rossaveal-Aran Islands service that is mostly involved in trasnporting large cargoes, maintly trucks, excavators, heavy plant and machinery.

A prime example of moving heavy machinery, were those used in the construction to build the outer harbour of Kilronan (Cill Rónáin) on the main island of Inishmore. This was to improve ferry access to and from the mainland. During construction, vehicles were driven off the Chateau-Thierry, which is equipped with ramps that were lowered onto the beach beside Kilronan Pier.

It was during a visit to Inishmore in June, 2009, that asides observing the busy ferry traffic, trawler Iolair and coaster Stenland were also alongside Kilronan Pier. The former Norwegian vessel that traded as Beth Anja, was then tramping around carrying cargoes along the mid-west coast, between Galway and Westport. It was from the Co. Mayo port was where among the cargoes included building materials loaded for Clare Island.

Also on that Aran occasion, another Norwegian connection was that of the former Hurtigruten coastal cruise cargo-ferry, Midnatsol. The vessel converted to cruiseship, National Geographic Explorer was anchored off Kilronan Harbour. Cruise-goers took to 6,471 tonnes vessel's fleet of zodiacs to reach the island harbour.

As for the works of the new outer pier at Kilronan, this required 77,000 tonnes of large natural stone blocks sourced from Connemara, to protect the breakwater from erosion. The new harbour, twice the area in size of Croke Park, had been voted in 2012 by the public as the Best Engineering Project of the Year. 

Also engaged in the project was Irish Dredging, part of the Dutch owned Boskalis Group, which recently completed removal of spoil from Dublin Port and out to dumping grounds in the bay.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#AranIslands - Electricity supply has been restored to the Aran Islands of Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr four days after a subsea cable fault left almost 400 residents without power.

Galway Bay FM reports that repairs works are ongoing and could take up to four weeks, but affected islanders now have access to generator power since yesterday evening (Monday 8 August) following delays in transporting the necessary equipment with the weekend's severe weather.

Previously a senator had called on the Defence Forces to intervene should the islands' residents have been left without power – and water from their temporarily shuttered treatment plant – for much longer.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

#AranIslands - A senator has called on the Defence Forces to step in to assist the residents of two Aran Islands who are expected to be without power for several days since an outage on Friday morning (5 August).

According to Galway Bay FM, a fault with undersea cables could be to blame for the loss of electricity on Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr – which has also forced a temporary shutdown of the former's Irish Water treatment plant.

However, the ESB says that with poor weather forecast today (Sunday 7 August), it will be this week at the earliest before a backup power source can be transported to the islands, and many days before repairs are carried out.

Sinn Fein Senator Trevor O’ Clochartaigh said such a long period without electricity would pose significant difficulties for residents in the Galway Bay islands, and asked for the Defence Forces to provide for their basic needs over the coming days.

The outage is yet another setback for Aran Islands residents, who still face uncertainty over the status of their plane service to the mainland, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

#AranIslands - The Aran Islands air service is still without a mainland airport as the deadline for talks on the €3.6 million contract fast approaches, according to The Irish Times.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Department of the Gaeltacht has been in a stalemate with the owners of Connemara Airport – who presently hold the tender for the Galway Bay islands' air link – over the cost of the Public Service Obligation contract.

Prices offered by Aer Arann Islands, which factor in refurbishment and staffing costs, have become a sticking point with the department.

However, one last effort will be made to reach a deal before the deadline next week, according to Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Seán Kyne.

“We cannot pursue a contract if we don’t have an airport," said Minister Kyne, "and at the moment, we don’t have agreement on those terms.”

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News
Tagged under
Page 9 of 18

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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