The announcement by Irish Ferries that it would not run a French ferry service from Rosslare this summer came as a big shock for local people in the Wexford port.

Not least for Glen Carr, the General manager of Rosslare Europort, which is run by CIE.

He said the loss of the Irish Ferries service equates to around 10% of the port’s income.  

So far, Irish Ferries has not said anything further than their original statement in December in which it said it was unlikely that the service would operate this year but it "will continue to keep this situation under review".

The company said that a majority of its customers have a clear preference for the more central location and easy access of Dublin.

It said the new WB Yeats ferry will operate from Dublin to Cherbourg, with 20% greater passenger capacity up to four days per week.

Local business owners in the village of Rosslare Harbour are concerned as they rely on port traffic for a boost to the seasonal economy. 

Families heading off to France tend to do a last minute stop at the SuperValu shop, which sits right at the entrance to the port.  

Owner Alan Murphy said they organise their deli counter rosters and stock around the French service - knowing that coach tours and families like to pick up a "chicken fillet roll" or tea bags and sausages as they head off and he is concerned about the knock-on effect to his bottom line this summer.  

One customer who won’t be popping in this summer is Karen Cormack.

Karen and her family went on holiday to France in 2017, with Irish Ferries to Roscoff and stayed within an hour's drive from the north French port.

They liked where they stayed so she put a deposit down last October in order to book it again for this summer. She waited, like a lot of Irish families, for Irish Ferries to open up its bookings, but instead, the announcement it wouldn’t be sailing to Roscoff from Rosslare came.

Karen didn’t want to go to Cherbourg as it would be a further five hour drive to accommodation so she’s decided to book with Brittany Ferries who do travel into Roscoff, but from Cork. 

Despite living in Dublin, she said the drive to Cork is worth it, weighing up the hour versus five hour drive the other side.  

Back in Rosslare Harbour village, which used to be home to a few different hotels, it is now B&B's and guest houses that mainly provide accommodation for tourists. 

Margaret Hartigan is the owner of Clifford House B&B. She's been here for 40 years and she says in all that time, there has been an Irish Ferries French service, two in fact for a time. Now she's worried about missing the European trade - the tourists who come and stay and use this part of the sunny southeast as a base while they explore the region.  

Standing outside her house on the cliff top above the beach with a panoramic view of the Europort terminal building and berths, Margaret tells me she hopes another company will be persuaded to come and take up the Irish Ferries Rosslare-France service.  

That's something Glen Carr is hoping for too. He said CIE is actively talking to other shipping lines in the hope they can get the business back to Rosslare Europort.