Aran ferry dispute resolved as debt to Galway council written down

Island Ferries Teo had suspended services in row over unpaid passenger levy monies

An Island Ferries boat carries passengers from Inis Mór. Photograph: David Sleator

An Island Ferries boat carries passengers from Inis Mór. Photograph: David Sleator

 

A deal has been reached to ensure that passenger ferry services to the largest Aran island, Inis Mór, continue through the winter.

The development follows Galway County Council agreeing to write off 50 per cent of the more than €500,000 in passenger levies owed to it by ferry company Island Ferries Teo.

The firm had recently suspended services temporarily as part of a row over the levy, which was separate to harbour dues and was sought from 2012 to pay for redeveloping a harbour on Inis Mór.

The levy had been the subject of several unsuccessful court challenges by the company. It is understood that legal costs of €450,000-€600,000 are still to be paid to the council by the company.

A new four-year contract for an air service to all three islands has also reached its final phase, with the existing operator, Aer Arann, selected as final preferred bidder.