AS many as 70 abandoned vehicles will be taken off Tory Island over the coming weeks, having accumulated over several years.
Under current rules, those wishing to bring a car on to Tory must pay €40. But in a bid to head off a repeat of the vehicle graveyard which has built up, the Tory Island Co-Op has increased that fee to €80.
The extra €40 will be used by the community organisation to have any cars which residents no longer use removed to the mainland and scrapped via the proper channels.
Marjorie Uí Chearbhaill heads the Tory Island Co-Op and she told the Donegal News that the amount of broken down vehicles had, over time, turned into an eyesore.
“The problem is that there are a lot cars, maybe 60 or 70, all over the island,” Ms Uí Chearbhaill said.
“These are vehicles that people have brought on to the island and they have just accumulated over the years. Because we had no system in place, they built up and built up and what we are trying to do now is get on top the problem.
“The cost previously to bring a car on to Tory was €40 but now if you pay €80, you can come up to us and say ‘I’m finished with it’ and we will arrange to have it removed.”
Carrying out the weighty removal operation is Dominic Sweeney who also runs the Arranmore ferry.
He has started clearing vehicles, starting with cars that are still in some working order. They will now be taken to a scrappage company in Letterkenny.
Things will intensify over the coming days and weeks when the remains of dozens more cars and vans are loaded on to the barge.
It could be months though before Tory Island says goodbye to the last of its unwanted debris.
The clear out is the second the island has had in the past six months. In November, 20 loads of rubbish, largely made up of scrap metal, were taken away.
With plans afoot to have a recycling centre established on the island by the end of the year though, such clean ups could become a thing of the past for Tory residents.
Marjorie Uí Chearbhaill added, “We thought that we had to come up with some long term plan and any cars that are here now, we will collect them and have them removed free of charge.
“But now anyone bringing a car on will have to pay €80 and that will cover the return journey as well.
“Dominic has been very kind in helping us and it will take him several weeks because he isn’t available all the time. But definitely by the end of the summer all the vehicles will be gone.”