Response from minister sought on Inishmurray Island visitor ban

Boat owners and tourism promoters in the north west are awaiting a response from a government minister about the banning of visitors to Inishmurray Island, off the coast of Sligo.

The Department of Transport has called for a stop to all visits to the island on health and safety grounds.

The island was the site of an early-Christian monastic settlement and is regualrly visited by tourists, archaeologists, historians, bird and wildlife enthusiasts, as well as by the descendants of the people who once lived there.

However, boat operators who bring people to the island, say any ban would particualrly hit their businesses.

Sligo/Leitrim Fine Gael Deputy Tony McLoughlin says he has raised the issue with the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, and is awaiting a response.