Tuigtear do Sheanadóir Shinn Féin go bhfuil socrú déanta ag Roinn na Gaeltachta le Island Ferries ó thaobh fóirdheontas maidir le seirbhís go hInis Meáin agus Inis Oírr agus nach gcuirfear as dóibh sin.
‘Ba chóir don Aire Stáit ráiteas a dhéanamh le muintir Inis Mór a chuir ar a suaimhneas faoi seo. D’fhéadfadh costas taisteal i bhfad níos airde a bheith orthu le dul chuig an mórthír anois de bharr go bhfuil an conradh a bhí ann tagtha chun críche. Ba chóir don Roinn suí síos le hionadaithe as Inis Mór leis an scéal a mhíniú dóibh agus féachaint ar na roghanna éagsúla maidir le seirbhís inmharthana farantóireachta ar chostas reasúnach a chuir ar fáil do mhuintir Inis Mór. Ba chóir dó a léiriú an bhfuil sé chun an conradh fóirdheontais a ath-fhógairt, nó leagan amach nua a mholadh chun freastal ar riachtanais phobal Inis Mór mar ba cheart. Ba chóir dó míniú chomh maith cén plé a bhí ag an Roinn le pobal Inis Mór faoin gcás go dtí seo. Tá sé dochreidte go mbeadh cúrsaí tagtha chuig an staid sin gan malairt de shocrú a bheith curtha in áit aige agus caithfear gníomhú laithreach leis an scéal a réiteach’, a deir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
Inis Mór ferry service needs to be clarified – Ó Clochartaigh
Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh is calling on the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley, to clarify the situation with regard to the ferry service to Inis Mór. The Galway West Senator understands that the current agreement with Island Ferries is coming to an end this week and that no other agreement has been put in place by the Department to replace it. It appears that Island Ferries will continue their service to Inis Mór on a commercial basis, but that this could mean an increase in fares, changes to schedules and conditions of carriage. It is also unclear whether the bus service that is provided at present as part of the service agreement will still cater for Inis Mór residents free of charge.
The Sinn Féin Senator understands that there has been an agreement made between Island Ferries and the Department to provide a subvention for the service to Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr and that this service will not be affected.
‘The Minister of State should make a statement to put Inis Mór residents at ease in relation to this issue. They could be looking at substantially increased travel costs to the mainland because this contract has lapsed. The Department should sit down immediately with the people of Inis Mór to explain what has happened and outline the options they are pursuing to provide a sustainable, economic ferry service to the this community. He should clarify if he intends to re-advertise the contract, or whether he has another plan to cater for the travel needs of the people on Inis Mór. He should also outline what discussions have gone on with the residents up to now. It is incredible that he would have allowed the situation come to this stage without having made alternative arrangements and he must act immediately to rectify the situation’, according to Ó Clochartaigh.