Valentia Island off the Kerry coast may be cut off from the mainland unless the ferry operator is compensated for the loss of business that will come from the construction of a bridge to the island.
The 800 people of Valentia Island, off the southwest of County Kerry, have been using Pat Murphy's ferry since the 1940s and he has never let them down. The ferry sails eight times a day there are regular scheduled services with more on demand during the summer season. The cost to travel from Valentia to the mainland at Renard Pier, a span of approximately three-quarters of a mile, is 2 shillings for a round trip. There are special rates for school children and no charge for a funeral.
Pat Murphy's family has been ferrying people for 50 years but they are not prepared to continue the service beyond 30 September 1967. This is the deadline they have given Kerry County Council to compensate them for the threatened loss of their livelihood, once Valentia Island is linked by a bridge to the mainland.
Pat Murphy will not say how much compensation is required but insists he cannot be expected to continue operating the ferry until the bridge is built, and then go out of business.
Kerry County Council has passed on this demand to The Department of Transport and Power. If there is no settlement, Pat intends to start fishing from October on, which could leave Valentia cut off for the very first time.
Islanders remain tight-lipped on the matter, refusing to acknowledge there is any issue.
We'll get a couple of years supply and forget about the world someone said, perhaps they will too.
‘Newsbeat’ was presented by Frank Hall and ran for 7 years from September 1964 to June 1971. It went out from Monday to Friday on RTÉ television and reported on current affairs and issues of local interest from around Ireland. The final programme was broadcast on11 June 1971.
This episode of 'Newsbeat’ was broadcast on 2 October 1967. The reporter is Bill O'Herlihy.