New five-year ferry contract guarantees daily services to Ireland's Aran Islands

The Aran Islands (Irish: Oileáin Árann) are a group of three islands, Inishmore (Árainn Mhór/Inis Mór), Inishmaan (Inis Meáin/Inis Meadhóin) and Inisheer (Inis Thiar/Inis Oírr/Inis Oirthir), located at the mouth of Galway Bay, on the west coast of Ireland. Residents on the Aran Islands have raised concerns over recent years about the provision of transport services to and from the islands, with some services even facing threatened suspension. Now a new five year contract will guarantee daily ferry services to each of the three islands. 

Details of the Public Service Obligation contract with Aran Ferries Teo, which comes into effect from 1st December and will run until 30th November 2022, were announced by the Department of the Gaeltacht yesterday. Costing nearly €6 million, the agreement will result in morning and evening services between Ros a' Mhíl and Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr, with additional early afternoon sailings on Sundays from May to September. Bus services between Ros a' Mhíl and Galway city are also included in the contract. As part of the deal, the price of a return fare for islanders will be capped at €10. This represents a reduction on the existing €15 fare for residents of Inis Mór. 

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