The people of Tory Island have been inconvenienced this week after the Queen of Aran was temporarily taken out of service.
The much-disputed ferry that began running in Spring 2018 has been docked at Magheroarty since Wednesday after a technical issue.
It is believed that a rope from a lobster trap got caught in the ferry propellor this week and was later brought to the attention of the MSO Marine Survey Office. The ferry was soon repaired on Wednesday and is now due to undergo a routine MSO inspection.
A temporary replacement boat, the Elsie Jayne, was brought in to accommodate passengers. The boat holds 12 passengers, but locals say this is not enough at the height of the summer season.
“The Queen of Aran being out of action is impacting hugely on the businesses on the island. The boat was and is not suitable for Tory, which is why the people were protesting,” said one Tory resident.
“People can’t get anything in unless they travel with it. If you want anything delivered you have to go to the mainland and bring it with you.”
It is expected that the survey of the Queen of Aran will be completed soon, and it will return to regular operation. The fast ferry has not been affected and is running twice-daily as normal.