The Aran Islands is to lose a vital ferry link this winter due to a long running dispute over passenger levies.
The twice-daily winter service is set to stop running November 2nd-March 17th and 25 employees of the Island Ferries have been put on protective notice.
The dispute concerns passenger levies being imposed by Galway County Council to help pay for the new Inis Mór harbour. The council has voted to collect €0.80 per tourist using the ferry and an annual €5 fee from islanders.
Island Ferries owner Paddy O’Brien believes the passenger levy is unfair and is working to overturn the levies. Inis Mór Islander are also understandably unhappy with the situation. Services to the islands of Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr are unaffected by the action.
A similar recent effort by Clare County Council to impose levies on the Islanders and tourists of Doolin, Co Clare was unsuccessful.