Rathlin Island ferry essential and vital service – McGuigan

Rathlin Island Ferry Limited has informed its employees and the Department that it will immediately cease all operations.

Rathlin Island Ferry Limited operated the service on behalf of the Department for Infrastructure.

Speaking after it was announced that RIFL (the Rathlin Ferry operator) has ceased trading, North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan said:

“The Rathlin Island ferry provides an essential and vital service and it must be protected. Today’s announcement by RIFL is disappointing, but the Department for Infrastructure must act quickly to put in place a contingency plan to ensure the continuity of a ferry service between Rathlin and Ballycastle.

“This solution must protect islanders, those who work on the island and also ferry staff currently working on the ferry. I have been in contact with and will continue to engage with the Department to help resolve this situation.”

Dr Patricia O’Lynn, Alliance MLA for North Antrim, also expressed regret over the sudden ceasing of operations by the Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd.

“We understand that the Department and ferry operator have been involved in discussions with the Department for Infrastructure regarding the terms of their tender contract,’ said Dr O’Lynn.

“It is deeply disappointing that RIFL have been unable to come to some agreement with the Department.”

“The abrupt termination of services will cause significant disruption amongst the local community for whom the ferry is a lifeline. I have been in touch with DfI to seek assurances on a contingency plan that protects both service and workers and am confident that the Department will do their best for the people of Rathlin.”