herald

Monday 18 December 2017

'This is devastating news' say local politicians

mary mitchell o'connor
mary mitchell o'connor

The impact of the closure of the Stena Line Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead route has been described as "devastating", "massive", and "sad" by local representatives from across the political spectrum.

Labour TD and former Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said he regretted the decision.

"Stena's Dun Laoghaire/Holyhead ferry service has been in decline for a number of years, reducing from five sailings per day in the peak years to just one sailing per day, on a seasonal basis, in recent times," he said.

"Despite the fall off on sailing and in passenger numbers, a ferry service from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead continues to be strategically important," he added, saying he hopes the Harbour Company will succeed in securing an alternative provider.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett described the announcement as "a massive blow".

Control

He called for the entire board of the Harbour Company to be removed and for the harbour company to be put under full public control.

Local Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O'Connor said it was a "sad day" for Dun Laoghaire.

"This marks an end of over 20 years of Stena Line ferry sailings to Dun Laoghaire. Passenger sailings from the harbour span over almost two centuries," she said.

"On the plus size there are emerging commercial activities on the horizon such as the growing cruise business," she added.

"This is devastating news for Dun Laoghaire as the ferry service was a vital part of the economic life of the town and generations of local families, including my own, relied on the Holyhead ferry service for their livelihood," said Independent Dun Laoghaire Cllr Michael Merrigan.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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