WEST CORK ISLANDS: Easy public access to Whiddy Island secured for another 5 years

4 November 2020
By Bryan Smyth

Whiddy Island is an island near the head of Bantry Bay, West Cork, Ireland. It is about 5.6 km long and 2.4 km wide. The island is noted for its oil terminal facilities – and the related Whiddy Island Disaster of 1979 which involved a ship called the Betelgeuse. The state now uses the terminal to hold Ireland’s “strategic oil reserve”. Despite this industrial use on the South West of the Island, the rest of the Island remains under fields, and is popular with tourists who can travel by boat from nearby Bantry Town.

Today Whiddy Island is in the news because the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced that her Department has agreed a contract for the provision of a ferry service to the Island with ‘Whiddy Island Ferry Services’.

The contract came into effect this week, on 1st November 2020, and will run for five years, to 31st October 2025. The value of the contract is €375,000 over the 5-year term. The contract has been awarded as a result of a competitive procurement process that was advertised earlier this year.

Announcing the contract award, Minister Humphreys said:

“Reliable access is hugely important for the people who live on our offshore islands and for visitors alike. Affordable, frequent and safe transport services are vital to our island communities and support many aspects of island life.

“I am delighted that we have secured a long-term ferry solution for the Whiddy Island community and I congratulate the providers, Whiddy Island Ferry Services, on securing the contract. I wish the residents and those who visit the island many safe journeys over the next 5 years.”

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