Wexford port ready to become Ireland's gateway to Europe with the Rosslare to Le Harve ferry route.

Already a major car ferry terminal, Rosslare port is set to grow even further.  The final preparations are underway for the inauguration of a new car ferry service to the French port of Le Havre.

The car ferry service will be operated by a Franco-Irish company, and today French officials are paying the Irish terminal port a visit, inspecting plans, and discussing the future. 

£300,000 has been spent on improving the car ferry facilities here.  In addition, roads, terminal buildings and car parks have all been upgraded.  The customs area will now be able to clear cars at a rate of four per minute, necessary with eight sailings a day in the high season.  

Deserted and windswept in January, the harbour signage is the only indicator of the ferries’ summer importance.  But since its inception in 1965, the car ferry has had a substantial effect on tourism patterns in the south and south east of the country, not least in the county where visitors begin their Irish journeys,

In Rosslare it’s created a whole community, and all over the south east, and in particular County Wexford, hotels, shops and pubs have got their share of the benefits.

A ‘Newsbeat’ report from 17 January 1968.  The reporter is Bill O’Herlihy. 

'Newsbeat' was a half-hour feature programme presented by Frank Hall and ran for 7 years from September 1964 to June 1971. 'Newsbeat' went out from Monday to Friday on RTE television and reported on current affairs and issues of local interest from around Ireland. The final programme was broadcast on the 11 June, 1971.