Waterford and Wexford are connected by the new Passage East car ferry service.

The FBD Dunbrody makes one of its first trips in a service which could revolutionise travel in the south Wexford and north Waterford area.

A new car ferry service runs from Ballyhack in County Wexford to Passage East in county Waterford, a distance by sea of only 650 yards.

Until now the only way to get from Ballyhack to Passage East was by a 40 mile road journey. The car ferry journey takes just four minutes.

It can cut one hour off the journey from Rosslare Harbour to Waterford City.

There had been a pedestrian ferry on the route since medieval times. The new car ferry can take 20 cars per journey. The service is a partnership between FBD Insurance Company and local business people who predict both tourist and commercial benefits for both counties.

Managing Director Derek Donnelly believes the new ferry service will be of great benefit to both local people and tourists. People living in the Hook peninsula will now have easy access to Waterford city. For the moment the service is restricted to cars and light commercial vehicles only. Derek Donnelly does not see the service being offered to heavier vehicles.

The town of New Ross through which traffic would normally pass, is nervous about loss of trade as a result of travellers bypassing the town in favour of the ferry. Local TD Hugh Byrne does not think the new ferry service will act as any disadvantage to New Ross. He says that while the traffic went through the town, nobody stopped to spend any money.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 30 July 1982. The reporter is Michael Ryan.