#ValentiaFerry - There are concerns over the future of the Valentia Island carferry service as the vessel of more than 50 years will no longer meet marine safety requirements, reported RTE Six One News.
Islanders of the Co. Kerry island say that tourism would collapse if State funding is not met to fund a replacement ferry that is expected to cost in the region of €3 million. The figure is beyond the reach of the island community, however the operator of the ferry, Valentia Island Ferries say they can contribute €1m but they are seeking State assistance for the remaining €2m.
The service linking Reenard on the mainland to Knightstown on Valentia Island only takes seven minutes, was established by five island families in 1996. Richard Foran of Valentia Island Ferries said that last year they carried 100,000 cars and that represented around 250,000 passengers.
While the island can be accessed by a bridge on the western end, the islanders and tourist alike benefit from the ferry service that reduces the distance to Cahersiveen by 13 miles. The loop created is according to the islanders essential to the Skellig Ring and the Wild Atlantic Way.