It was supposed to be the pride of the West – but now, Galway's loss could become Dublin's gain.
The Naomh Éanna, known to Dubliners as the boat that lay in disrepair in Grand Canal Dock for several years, was to be redeveloped as an 82-bed boutique hostel and restaurant and be sailed to Galway. It was a huge source of hope for campaigners who had worked to save the craft since 2005, and a promising new lease of life for the vessel that used to carry passengers to and from the Aran Islands.
However, developer Field Corbett – who also redeveloped the MV Cill Áirne on Dublin's north quays – admitted this week that these plans would not go ahead.
Mr Corbett said: "“Unfortunately, I must now accept I have been unsuccessful in raising finance to bring the ship home. It is a great disappointment as I am convinced she would be a huge attraction in Galway.”
However, he also added that the redeveloped boat could find a new home in Dublin – near to the successful Cill Áirne – due to the larger number of people here, and the ease with which investors could be attracted to get the €1.86m project over the line.
So what do you think? Is this a ferry welcome move for the city – or just something that Dublin needs like a hull in the head?