Southern and Eastern; South-East (IRL);
Location of affected unit(s)
Transportation / Storage
Land, Water And Air Transportation
Water Transport
50 - Water transport

150 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
20 October 2004
Employment effect (start)
5 November 2004
Foreseen end date


The owner of Irish Ferries, Irish Continental Group plc announced on 20 October 2004 that its Ferries Division is restructuring its services between Ireland and France - on the Rosslare to Cherbourg and Roscoff routes - in order to ‘reduce costs and maintain competitiveness’. Management have proposed 150 voluntary redundancies, and staffing on the Rosslare-France routes is to be transferred to a third party employment agency, the result being that ‘cheaper’ crews will be employed on the routes from March 2005. According to the company, the action is being taken against a background in which the volume of cars carried on the Ireland/France route has fallen 7% this year compared with 2003. The company acknowledges that the decision is ‘a consequence of demand in the market place for lower fares, together with additional competition from sea and air carriers, in some cases State-assisted’. In relation to this, the company lodged a complaint with the European Commission last year on the basis that its main competitor on the French routes, Brittany Ferries, receives a subvention from the French Government. It says it does not receive any such subvention from the Irish Government, which places Irish Ferries at a competitive disadvantage. Unions at the company have announced that they will ballot their members for industrial action in protest at the proposals.


  • 28 October 2004: Industrial relations news
  • 3 November 2004: The Irish Times


Eurofound (2004), Irish Ferries, Outsourcing in Ireland, factsheet number 60723, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/60723.