McDonnell’s concern over ferry terminal

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Moyle councillor Randal McDonnell has expressed his concern at floor space in Ballycastle’s ferry terminal building being leased for commercial use.

Expressions of interest had been sought for use of the floor space and an interested party made a rental offer with a view to taking up occupancy by mid-September.

Members of Moyle District Council were asked to approve this - pending planning permission - at last week’s meeting.

However, independent councillor McDonnell said: “I thought this was supposed to be something temporary.

“I thought this floor space was to be used for exhibitions, meetings etc but we are now changing the use of the building and I don’t think that’s what we ever envisaged.

“If this does achieve Planning permission then we have lost the use of this building.”

Chairing the meeting Cllr Donal Cunningham said that a reference to the ferry service could be written into the agreement with a leasee.

It was agreed then to approve the rental of the floor space pending planning approval.

Cllr Robert McIlroy also expressed his concern about another aspect of the leasing.

“I am not against this but have we let go of the idea of a ferry service between Ballycastle and Scotland because that is why that building was built, at huge cost?” he asked.

“Ballycastle was to be the gateway for the whole of Ireland to the Scottish regions.

“I’m very disappointed if we have let go of that ferry service.”