Rathlin Ferry Resumes

The Rathlin Island ferry is set to resume services from today. The Department for Infrastructure said Dunaverty Ltd will be the new operator on the Rathlin Island to Ballycastle route. 

A passenger-only vessel will run five return sailings a day, weather permitting. The department’s vehicle-carrying vessel, the Spirit of Rathlin, will resume once approvals are in place with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd has ceased trading, with its final sailing last Wednesday.

The department said Wednesday’s announcement followed several weeks of engagement with Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd in relation to the contract between them, including the financial position of the ferry company.

Officials said they received notification on Wednesday from the company that it would cease trading with immediate effect. The department said it had been working on contingency arrangements which could be implemented urgently. 

Charles Stewart of Dunaverty, which also owns and operates Kintra Tours, said the firm is looking forward to "working with the department, the existing workforce and the local community to continue to develop and grow this lifeline service".