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Kinvara's picturesque harbour area. Photograph by John Kelly.

Tourism buoyed by new ferry service

A NEW sea service bringing tourists from Galway City to the Burren will be launched this weekend. The company behind the initiative believes in the region of 4,000 tourists a year could be brought to North Clare and South Galway on the sailings, as planned, but that there is capacity to expand the service. MacMara, a newly-formed marine and coastal ecotourism company based in Kinvara, will launch the routes at the pier in the village on Saturday. The company will run daily crossings from Galway Port across the bay to Kinvara and Ballyvaughan on alternate days, as well as coastal trips plying the bay. The foundation for the tourist-orientated ferry was the feasibility study for the Ballyvaughan Bay Hop, a community-led sea commuter service from Ballyvaughan to Galway City. Gwen Ryan was the driving force behind that project and is now involved with MacMara. “We had very positive feedback from the Bay Hop. There was a lot of interest in it but that interest was mainly from leisure travellers and people …

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