A new ferry service could help develop tourism and make life easier on Tory Island off the coast of Donegal.
Padraig Doherty of Turasmara Teoranta began operating the Tory Island ferry service in 1992 using a new £400,000 vessel. The service is now being extended to provide a daily ferry service from the island to the mainland throughout the winter months. The service is is grant-aided by Údarás na Gaeltachta.
The benefits of a regular ferry service are already being felt on the island as tourists make the trip either from Bunbeg or Magheraroarty on the Donegal mainland each week. Tory Islanders are hopeful the latest announcement will further boost tourism and a therefore raise the standard of living on the Island.
Meanwhile, work on a new hotel in An Baile Thiar (West Town) is nearly complete. The hotel is central to plans to develop the Tory Island as a tourist destination and offers hope for the island's young people who wish to live and work on the island.
Tory Islander Breda Rogers is hopeful for her future
I didn’t go to secondary school because I didn’t want to leave the island and this gives us a chance for a better future.
Whereas Deirdre Doohan says
Well its mostly to do with tourism because they don’t think Tory is ready for it yet, just to have all the young people ready for it when it does pick up like, it’s picking up more and more every year.
The new ferry service has highlighted the need for proper pier facilities both at Magheraroarty and on Tory Island. If the ferry service is to be successful two million pounds will be needed to fix the existing inadequate quays. Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht Pat The Cope Gallagher says he will be seeking this development funding from European Structural Funds.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 13 July 1993. The reporter is Eileen Magnier.