BringBackTheSwanseaCorkFerry.com Newsletter – 18th June 2008
Time for another update on the progress of the campaign so far….
It’s been a busy three weeks since the last newsletter – and the campaign has really been picking up momentum – helped along by all of the great comments and support on our website e-petition – thank you all!
We’ve had some good coverage in the local press, with a couple of nice articles in the Southern Star, and pieces on local radio.
The website has attracted over 5000 visitors from 47 countries (from Australia to Vietnam and all points in-between), and, at the time of writing, nearly 850 of you have left informed and impassioned comments on the e-petition. Rest assured that we read every single comment – we’ve recently started an ‘E-petition Hall of Fame’ page on the website with some of our personal favourites.
This entry came in late one Thursday night – and made me laugh out loud!
"From : Polly and Puffin Allen, Dorset, England
We are two sad Jack Russells, who have had our lovely trips to Kerry changed into horrid marathon journeys where we are forced to stay in the car for a very long time. No longer can we merrily skip along the beach at the Mumbles, secure in the knowledge that after a cosy night's sleep in the car we will be only a couple of hours from our lovely home. No, now we must sit grumpily in the back of the car for a very long time, irritating our owners with our snorts and woofs, and demanding to be let out at regular intervals.
If the Swansea Cork ferry doesn’t return soon, we might start to get vicious......"
Getting the ferry back in action is a serious business – but it’s nice to have a laugh from time to time.
Although we welcome every entry on the e-petition, I do hope that Polly and Puffin’s comments don’t open the floodgates for a wave of entries from dogs, cats, gerbils, budgies and stick insects!
(Somehow I just know I’m going to regret saying that !)
The Sticker Spotter feature !
Publicity is what this campaign is all about – and it’s great to hand out car/window/whatever stickers to people at Skibbereen and Schull markets – and for them to say ‘Oh yes – I’ve seen a few of those around’.
If you support our campaign – please show it by downloading the sticker from the E-petition page or the Help Us page on our website – and sticking it somewhere!
If you can take a photo of one of our stickers in an unusual situation (maybe in front of a local or not-so-local landmark, or on a nice car, or a boat…. or anywhere unusual) – please email us the photo and we’ll publish it on the website.
We’ve got some exclusive ‘bringbacktheswanseacorkferry’ button badges coming soon (they’ll be available to buy from Hosfords Garden Centre and from the Inspired-glass stall at Schull & Skibbereen markets) – and we’ll give away one of these rare badges for every photo we publish – so get snapping !
What’s the difference between an airline and a ferry ?
Not a trick question – the simple answer it seems is that the Government is able to find pots of money to subsidise Ryanair’s flights from Dublin to Kerry – but is unable to offer any financial assistance towards a ferry service from Cork to Swansea. (Details of the story on our News page)
I guess there’s some logic in there somewhere – but I can’t see it….
If you think this is somehow unfair – why not raise the matter with your local TD / Senator or Councillor – contact details are on the Help Us page on the website.
Have laptop – will travel!
Visitors to Skibbereen and Schull markets will be encouraged to sign our e-petition then & there – courtesy of a wireless internet link kindly provided by Schull broadband internet provider Digital Forge (www.digitalforge.ie - 028 28983) Digital Forge specialise in providing broadband internet connections in locations that cannot get a wired (telephone) connection.
Now there’s no excuse for saying people ‘I’ll sign it when I get home !”
Thanks to Brendan and Jane at Digital Forge for the loan of the equipment and Big John for the use of his generator!
The Way Ahead
While we’re frankly delighted at the great response to our campaign – we do realise that a petition on its own isn’t going to get the ferry link back. The purpose of the petition, and the website, is to raise awareness of the issue, and to act as a central focus for efforts to get the ferry restored.
We have created two action Groups to move the campaign forward,
The Commercial Group is chaired by Captain Michael McCarthy (Port of Cork Commercial Manager – and a tireless campaigner for the restoration of the ferry), His brief is to liaise with the various business interests, Irish & Welch councils etc and offer every assistance with identifying a suitable ship and getting it back into service.
The Publicity Group consists of three local Councillors plus John Hosford and myself – and our role is to promote and publicise the campaign in every way possible, while keeping the campaign non-party-political.
At the moment – our efforts are very much centred on County Cork – simply because that’s where we all are. We’d like to speak to anybody who could help us in Co Kerry, or over the sea in Swansea….
Councillor / TD Survey
In the next couple of weeks we’ll be contacting all of the people on our ‘Help Us’ page – being the elected representatives – to run a market-research-style survey, in order to find out what support we have at local / county council level. We’ll publish the results in our next newsletter – and on the website.
Please help us!
If you care about the ferry – and have a spare moment – please consider lobbying your local Councillors / TDs (see the ‘Help Us’ page for details) and making sure that they are doing all they can to get the ferry back.
Please check the website regularly (over 50% of the visitors have already 'bookmarked' the website) and we'll bring you all the latest Ferry news as soon as we hear it.
Please pass the website details on to your family, friends, colleagues and customers – and encourage them to leave their messages of support on our e-petition - if every person who recieves this newsletter can get two more people to sign the e-petition then we'll be looking at 2000 signatures - which will give the campaign real credibility - please do what you can to help!
As John Hosford said earlier today
“Without the Swansea-Cork ferry
– we simply don’t have a West Cork / Kerry tourist industry”
Many thanks for your support so far – together we can make this work !
Adrian Brentnall – Ballydehob, West Cork, Ireland