The Naomh Ciarán II ferry operating between Cape Clear off the Cork coast and Baltimore is a lifeline for islanders.
The Gaeltacht Island of Cape Clear nine miles from Baltimore off the County Cork coast is serviced by the Naomh Ciarán II ferry. Everything the island needs is brought over on the ferry expect for oil, petrol and diesel. These are transported by a separate boat.
The Cape Clear ferry Naomh Ciarán II is captained by Concubhar Ó Drisceoil. He says the hardest thing for the children living on the island is travelling to the mainland to attend secondary school when they are about 12 years old.
One Cape Clear resident attends boarding school in Rosscarbery. She travels out from Cape Clear every Monday morning at 7 am and returns at 6 pm on Friday. There is a special ferry scheduled for those attending boarding school.
Another girl explains how she catches lobsters from the ferry. She hangs a lobster pot over the side of the boat and checks it in the morning. She displays a rather unusual female lobster. Along with pincers this specimen only has two legs. Usually, a lobster has four legs on each side. The girl believes this lobster lost her limbs in a fight with another lobster.
Just as Cape Clear gets its oil from the mainland, Ireland relies on an oil supply from countries such as Norway and Britain. Tankers unload oil at the terminal on Whiddy Island in Bantry Bay. There is enough oil here to keep Ireland running for thirty days.
This episode of 'Echo Island' was broadcast on 1 April 1996. The reporter is Seóna Ni Bhriain.