Blow for Irish tourism as ferry drops major UK crossing

Irish tourism suffered a major blow today with Stena Line’s announcement that it will no longer operate on the Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead route.

A Stena ship in Dun Laoghaire

A Stena ferry. Image by Andrew Wilkinson / CC BY 2.0

However the company stressed that it would be continuing its Holyhead to Dublin Port service.

The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company described the news as disappointing, and pledged to seek alternative providers to service the route.

The disclosure follows the massive decline in the number of passengers through Dun Laoghaire Harbour over the past decade - down by 1.5 million from 1.7 million in 1998 to less than 200,000 in 2014.

Stena pointed out that car and passenger volumes into Dublin Port had become pre-eminent over Dun Laoghaire for the past seven years, Newstalk news reports.

Stena Line’s Route Manager for Irish Sea South, Ian Davies, explained that two services about 10 miles apart had forced them to make a decision as to how they should plan in the future. That decision came down in favour of Dublin Port, he added.

Mr Davies stressed that while economic realities were at the root of the ultimate decision, Stena has always enjoyed a very professional working relationship with Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

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