Hotel guests stranded in Waterford ferry dispute

Gardaí called after row leaves guests unable to leave private island

The Waterford Castle Hotel and Golf Resort

The Waterford Castle Hotel and Golf Resort

 

JOANNE HUNT

Gardaí were last night called to a dispute between a ferry operator and a hotel which left people stranded on an island in Waterford.

Guests at the Waterford Castle Hotel and Golf Resort were unable to return home from a private island on which the hotel is located in Ballinakill on the Suir Estuary, just over 1km down river from Waterford city.

Marketing materials for the four-star hotel say it operates “a private ferry service providing a constant 24/7 service to and from Waterford”. However it is understood that the operator of the ferry which runs between the island and the mainland decided to stop his service at around 8pm.

Gardaí were called to the incident last night but said the matter is a civil dispute. It is not clear how many people were stranded on the island.

The ferry service resumed after a two hours when a compromise was agreed.

Last month, assurances were given in the High Court that wedding receptions booked at the hotel would go ahead despite the financial crash of the complex. An official liquidator was appointed to two companies which own and operate the island hotel and golf course.

The appointment of the liquidator was made at the request of a National Asset Management Agency subsidiary company, the National Asset Loan Management Ltd.

The 19-room hotel employs 75 people. It has 48 residential lodges and an 18-hole golf course on a 310-acre site. The court had heard the companies were hopelessly insolvent and unable to pay their debts.