SDLP councillor Gerry Mullan has expressed grave concern that for the first time in 15 years there will be no ferry service operating between Magilligan and Greencastle.
He said: “If my fears are confirmed it will be a bitter disappointment to the SDLP who worked tirelessly to have this service operational in the first place.
“Over the years, it has carried millions of passengers and played a major role in ensuring tourists on the Donegal side had the opportunity to visit the Causeway Coast and its many tourist attractions including the Giant’s Causeway. Likewise the ferry service encouraged tourists from the North to explore the Inishowen Peninsula helping to fill beds in hotels and guesthouses.
“The SDLP welcomed the attention of the Loughs Agency after the issue was raised in the Assembly by John Dallat MLA, and I read with interest a report on the future of the service which recommends the involvement of Donegal County Council and the Causeway Coast and Glens Council.
“However it is our belief that this service should be the joint responsibility of both governments who should share the funding requirements. However we are open to all suggestions provided it leads to the re-establishment of the service in time for the new holiday season.
“In the past our political rivals claims this service could not be funded because it ‘goes to another jurisdiction’.
“Hopefully that kind of partitionist view will not be repeated and we can address the need to have the service back with a full commitment from the Northern Ireland Assembly Executive and the Irish Government which would be minimal considering the Strangford Ferry costs the Department of Regional Development millions both in capital and revenue expenditure.