Valentia Island Ferries are seeking €2 million in funding to replace the vessel they’ve used for 20 years to carry passengers and their vehicles.
The manager of the ferry company, Richard Foran, says they’ll have to replace the ship in 2018 as it will then be 53 years old.
The overall cost of the new car ferry would be €3 million.
Manager of Valentia Island Ferries Ltd, Richard Foran says they’ve made plans for this eventuality and have been in contact with the Department of Transport.
Mr Foran says they’ve a design already produced for the new ship and have €1 million in bank loans and investments to help pay for a new vessel.
They’ve also applied for €2 million funding from Fáilte Ireland under its grants scheme for large tourism projects.
The Department of Transport says its Marine Survey Office is responsible for the survey and certification of passenger vessels operating on domestic voyages.
The MSO surveys passenger ships such as the Valentia car ferry at least once a year and issues them with certificates that allow them to operate.
The department says it’s the owner of the ship who decides when a vessel must be replaced, having taken into account the costs associated with compliance, particularly for older boats.
Richard Foran says Valentia Island Ferries Ltd has already carried a quarter of a million passengers so far this year – its highest number since 2007