#islandnews- An island ferry says Fáilte Ireland cannot be included, such a new ferry was felt to be crucial for tourism in the South-West, among major projects eligible for grant aid.
As the Irish Examiner writes, EU rules governing state aid for tourism also prohibit aid for the Valentia Island ferry, it says.
The Valentia Island Ferry is of premium importance not just to tourists but serves locals too and is a key piece of infrastructure in the whole of south-west Kerry, a council meeting was told in Kerry this week.
Representatives from the five original families who came together 20 years ago against the odds to form the co-operative to put the ferry in place between the old capital Knightstown and the mainland near Cahersiveen, are campaigning for state funding to allow them replace the ferry with a bigger vessel.
“We are looking for the support of the council not just for Valentia, but for the development of tourism and the economy in the region,” ferry founder, Richard Foran, said in Killorglin.
Valentia is a regular day trip from Killarney now, because of the ferry. The ferry was instrumental in revitalising Knightstown, the old Victorian capital of Valentia.
A bridge which opened in 1971 from Portmagee linked the mainland with the far end of the island but many tourists prefer the ferry.
A new €2.8m ferry has been designed and the co-op will supply €1m, but needs the rest grand-aided, Mr Foran said.
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