Fears for future of Oscar Wilde ferry out of Rosslare Port
Wexford Mayor Cllr Ger Carthy is calling on Irish Ferries to guarantee that the Rosslare Port to France cruise ferry service will be maintained once the company's new superferry is introduced out of Dublin port.
'There are concerns amongst employees of Iarnrod Eireann that the Oscar Wilde will be taken out of Rosslare once the new ferry starts,' said Cllr Carthy.
'This would be a disaster for Rosslare Port and Wexford which is trying to attract more tourists.. taking the boat out of Rosslare Port is something that we can't afford to do,' he said.
'I am calling for a meeting with the CEO of Irish Ferries, Eamonn Rothwell, and the Minister for Transport to make sure this doesn't happen,' he said.
'There's no smoke without fire and Irish Ferries needs to allay the fears of the staff and the people of Rosslare Harbour.. we can't afford to have that kind of business leave Rosslare Harbour.. it would be another nail in the coffin for the community here,' said Cllr Carthy.
Rosslare Port is currently serviced by two regular ferries travelling to France, the Oscar Wilde and the Stena Horizon.
Asked to respond to Cllr Carthy's expressed concerns, Irish Ferries said it had no comment to make.
The company announced last week that it had ordered a new €144 million ferry that is due to go into service in 2018. The cruise ferry will accommodate 1,885 passengers and crew with 435 cabins and with a capacity for 2,800 lane metres (165 freight vehicles) plus an additional dedicated car deck with capacity for 300 vehicles. Irish Ferries says it is likely that the new ferry will be introduced on route out of Dublin currently served by the chartered ship MV Epsilon, which services Dublin to Holyhead midweek and France on weekends.