Farmers with livestock on Dursey Island off the coast of Cork are angry at a decision to limit the opening hours of the island's cable car, ahead of the busy calving and lambing season.

Traditionally, from 1 March the cable car operates for an additional three hours daily until October, but farmers were dismayed to discover this week that the winter schedule is to remain in place.

They have called on Cork County Council, who operate the cable car, to overturn this decision.

The eight farmers have over 100 cattle and 500 ewes on the island.

They say shutting the service at 4.30pm leaves very little daylight for them to supervise their livestock or get a vet to the island as they head into the very busy calving and lambing season.

Chairman of the West Cork branch of the Irish Farmers' Association Donal O'Donovan is now calling for an urgent meeting with Cork County Council to outline their concerns and to try to resolve the issue.

"The County Council will have to re-visit this decision. The daylight hours at this time of year have an impact on working patterns. The absence of a service into the evening will be hugely problematic for farmers," he said.

The cable car, which is hugely popular with tourists, has been shut to all but locals since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, operating seven hours daily.

In a statement this evening, Cork County Council said the local authority will review operating hours as the Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions are lifted, as daylight hours increase and within the scope of the available budget.