Passage East

One of Irelands oldest established domestic ferry crossing is provided by F. B. D. Dunbrody. The service crosses a wide stretch of the Waterford Harbour estuary between Ballyhake (Co. Wexford) and Passage East (Co. Waterford).

The service was inaugurated on July 1st, 1982 after Derek Donolly acquired the Berne-Farge, a vessel built in 1960 which had been operating on the River Weser in Germany between Berne and Farge. She opened the route as the F.B.D. Dunbrody (named after a near by abbey) and could carry 18 cars loaded via her bow and stern ramps.

Before the arrival of the car ferry, small passenger boats operated between the two villages for centuries and the last operator gave up his small open boat to become the Dunbrody’s first skipper. She was later sold to Bere Island Ferries in 1998.

The current vessel was acquired from Shannon Ferries by Passage East in 1997. The Shannon Heather was renamed the Tintern (after another abbey) but was renamed Edmund D after the passing of Derek Donolly’s father. The new vessel also has bow and stern loading ramps and increased capacity to 30 cars as the service continues to grow.