Doubt over Foyle ferry as owner sells Swilly vessel

Doubt over Foyle ferry as owner sells Swilly vessel
Doubts have been expressed about the future of the Foyle Ferry service after the businessman who runs it sold the ferry that operates on the Swilly.

Doubts have been expressed about the future of the Foyle Ferry service after the businessman who runs it sold the ferry that operates on the Swilly.

Jim McClenaghan says he has sold the ferry on the Swilly because the service was not making money in recent years, adding that he won’t be operating the service again.

He said the future of the Foyle service is not secure because there is no local authority subvention and he cannot run it at a loss. While the service has been profitable he said there has been a downturn.

The service, which has been running from Greencastle to Magilligan since 2002, ended last weekend for the season.

“Anything can happen yet. We must sit down... and look to see how we have done,” Mr McClenaghan said. “I worked very, very hard to get it up and running and keep it running. I definitely don’t want to see it going and I will do all in my power to keep it going.”

Mayor of Donegal Ian McGarvey, who lives in Ramelton, said the loss of the Buncrana to Rathmullan service would have an impact on both sides of the Swilly.

“I would hate to see it lost as during the holiday season it was very beneficial to both sides of the Swilly,” he said.

“Everyone knows the implication of the economics of it. It took tourists through Rathmullan from Inishowen. There is a two-way street that has been beneficial on both sides.”