A new £2.8million ferry Spirit of Rathlin that will operated between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island has been completed. It will replace the old MV Canna and will carry both passengers and vehicles.
A new £1m harbour is currently being built on Rathlin Island to accommodate the ferry is due to be completed shortly.
Built by Tyrrell Shipping of Arklow, Spirit of Rathlin includes a modern passenger lounge and upper deck which passengers can use during good weather.
The ferry will come into service once the harbour is complete and a Passenger Certificate has been obtained from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard said “I am delighted to announce completion of the new car and passenger ferry for Rathlin Island. This is excellent news for the people of Rathlin and particularly for those who use this essential service to go about their daily business.
“The ‘Spirit of Rathlin’ ferry will ensure that passenger and vehicle services can continue to be provided on this important lifeline route between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle. This new ferry has been designed to modern standards and includes the latest technology for the service it will operate.”