Irish tourists are stuck in Cherbourg and Le Harve as French fishermen block ports.

French trawlermen have blockaded a total of 15 ports in protest against soaring fuel costs, low catch quotas and threatened redundancies in their industry.

In Rosslare, County Wexford the Irish Continental Line (ICL)  ferry the St Patrick set sails on schedule. According to operations director of ICL Captain Coleman Raftery, the ferry is cleared to dock at the French port of Cherbourg. The St Patrick is also cleared for Le Havre in France and Europoort in the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

All passengers have been instructed accordingly that they are bound for Cherbourg, but they could end up as far north as Europoort.

ICL is aware of two other vessels attempting to reach Cherbourg and is closely watching their progress.

ICL port agent Hans Isler says its St Killian ferry has already docked at Europoort and describes the measures in place to assist tourists attempting to return from France to Ireland.

However Irish people stranded in Le Harve are extremely unhappy with their conditions,

It's absolutely rotten, we've got no food, no drinks, no nothing, we’ve no money.

The group were given accommodation in a campsite overnight but due to rain they spent the night sheltering in a toilet. A woman complains about the poor standards of hygiene in the available facilities and says a child in the adjacent car to her has been ill.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 18 August 1980. The reporters are Tom MacSweeney and Kieron Wood..