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Displaying items by tag: Inis Mor

#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
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#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
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#FerryNews - Aran Island Ferries has confirmed it will continue sailings between Inis Mór and the mainland after meeting with Government officials on Tuesday evening (26 January).

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Galway councillors had been seeking a solution to the Aran Islands transport crisis as the non-PSO ferry route was set to end this Sunday over a long-running passenger levy dispute.

But as Galway Bay FM reports, a deal has now been reached to keep ferries running across Galway Bay between Rossaveal and Kilronan into the spring, which entails a subvention from the Department of the Gaeltacht – though the 80c passenger levy remains an issue.

In other news, Galway County Council has denied claims that it is taking legal action against the Department of the Gaeltacht over an alleged €7 million debt related to harbour works on Inis Mór and Inis Meain.

Galway Bay FM has more on the story HERE.

Published in Ferry

#CliffDiving - British diver Gary Hunt trounced the competition at the weekend's Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series leg at the 'Serpent's Lair' in the Aran Islands.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the extreme sports event was making its long-awaited return to Ireland after wowing the crowds on Inis Mór two years ago, bringing the cream of the world's cliff diving talent such as living legend Orlando Duque, who led the field after Saturday's qualifying round.

But it was Hunt who would triumph on the Sunday with an impressive series of dives, including the highest-scoring single dive of the day - erasing memories of his poor performance at the Aran Islands blowhole in 2012.

The win also means that Hunt is 150 points in the lead in the series standings as the crew head to Norway for the next leg of this year's championship tour.

Red Bull has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News

#CliffDiving - The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series will make its long-awaited return to Ireland this summer after dazzling spectators in the Aran Islands two years ago.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, reigning champion Artem Silchenko and cliff diving's living legend Orlando Duque will be among those testing their mettle with the 27-metre dive into the Serpent’s Lair blowhole at Inis Mór on Sunday 29 June.

Also known as Poll na Peist, it's a spectacular dive described by Duque as one of the highlights of his career.

The Serpent's Lair will be the third stop in the 2014 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series that began this past weekend in Havana, Cuba, where British diver Blake Aldridge went top of the table with 200 points in a huge upset victory.

Published in Island News

#AranIslands - Galway Bay FM reports on fears that winter ferry services to Inis Mór in the Aran Islands might end due to lack of Government funding.

Galway Senator Fidelma Healy Eames raised the issue in the Seanad last week, telling how the Galway Bay islanders have been lumped with travel and fare increases since the ceasing of a State-subsidised contract for Inis Mór's passenger ferry, and the failure to receive tenders for a new five-year contract.

It's already been reported that ferry visits to the Aran Islands have fallen by 20% in six years.

Published in Ferry
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#IslandNews - Islands development authority Comhar na nOileán Teo has been given ministerial sanction to approve funding for a new three-star hostel in the Aran Islands, as the Galway Advertiser reports.

Some €200,000 in Rural Development Funding will go to the development of the 40-bed hostel on Inis Mór which aims to capitalise on a gap in the tourism market for low-cost accommodation for families and outdoors enthusiasts alike.

"The area of cultural and adventure tourism is growing on Inis Mór," said Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan. "This hostel will be a great addition to the accommodation that is currently available on the island."

The Galway Advertiser has more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News
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#Surfing - A trio of Galway windsurfers completed the 95km round trip to and from the Aran Islands last weekend - setting a new Irish record for stand-up paddle boarding in the process.

The Irish Times reports on the successful adventure by Dan Gardner, Daniel King and Joe Gallagher, who embarked on the challenge to raise funds for the Galway RNLI lifeboat service.

Setting out before 5.30am on the morning of Saturday 8 June, they returned to the Galway Docks before 11pm that night - stopping at the halfway mark for lunch on Inis Mór.

The trio are each believed to have covered some 4,000 strokes an hour to make their record time of 17 hours 33 minutes. The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

In other surfing news, the Sunday Independent reports on a website that's seeking to connect surfers of all levels with the right waves for them.

Waterford-based Liam Sinnott set up Swellseekers.ie with business partner James Hassey two years ago, filling a gap in the market for booking surfing trips online at a time when Ireland was only just emerging as a world-class surfing destination.

Though the site currently only takes bookings for surfing and other watersports in the Waterford area, Sinnott says he hopes to expand his site's scope nationwide by next year to serve a growing wave-riding community of "50,000 surfing all year round".

Published in Surfing

#Ferries - Ferry fares for people travelling between Inis Mór in the Aran Islands and the mainland are set to almost double from tomorrow 1 February, as RTÉ News reports.

Island Ferries founder Paddy O'Brien has cited increased fuel costs for the sharp fare rise from €8 to €15 for return trips from the largest island in the group in Galway Bay.

Fares for residents of Inis Oírr and Inis Meáin are also rising by 25% after an increase in the annual subvention to provide ferry services to the islands sought by Island Ferries was not accepted by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The department had failed to secure any tenders for a public service contract on the Aran Islands ferry service, the present contracts for which expire today.

Published in Ferry
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