Kerry and Cork councils to invest in Cork-Swansea ferry


KERRY COUNTY Council yesterday agreed to join with Cork city and county councils in a financial contribution for the troubled Cork-Swansea ferry during its period in examinership.

Councillors cautioned against throwing good money after bad and said any future investment would need to be considered closely.

Kerry County Council had already invested €100,000 in getting the ferry up and running in March 2010, the meeting heard.

Fine Gael councillor Pat McCarthy questioned how many local west Cork people were employed directly on the ferry. He understood it was mostly east Europeans.

The ferry is owned by the Fastnet Line, (a subsidiary of the West Cork Tourism Co-operative society) which is in examinership. The review of the Fastnet company’s affairs during the 100-day period of the examinership will ensure its survival, the meeting heard.

Councillors said the ferry had brought much-needed UK business to the southwest last summer.

“It’s great to see English cars and caravans and so on in the town of Kenmare,” Councillor Danny Healy-Rae said.

For the period of examinership the company required €300,000 and half of this was to come from the area’s local authorities. Kerry’s contribution would be €20,000.

To date, the three councils had invested €700,000, the meeting was told. In this tranche, during costs arising from examinership, the three councils would contribute €150,000.

Councillor John Brassil said there was only a finite amount of money and any further investment would have to be questioned.