Tyne & Wear

Shields 'forgotten' Freda ferry found in Ireland

Freda Cunningham ferry 1984 Image copyright Nexus
Image caption The Freda Cunningham was built at the Ryton Marine shipyard on the River Tyne in the early 1970s

A forgotten ferry which transported passengers between North Shields and South Shields for more than 20 years has been discovered in Ireland.

The Freda Cunningham, which worked on the River Tyne from 1972, was taken out of service in 1993 and sold.

Ferry operator Nexus said its fate had remained a mystery until the new owners contacted them.

Since 2006, the vessel, now named Mystic Waters, has been operating between west Cork and Sherkin Island.

Carbery Isle Ferries Ltd carried out research into the vessel's service history and found her previous job was on the River Tyne.

Owner of the Sherkin Ferry, Rosaleen O'Driscoll, said: "It's always lovely to find out about the history of the boats that we operate.

"She's a great little vessel."

Image copyright Nexus
Image caption Mystic waters connects Sherkin Island with a small fishing port in County Cork

Nexus has operated the Shields Ferry service, which transports more than 500,000 people each year, since 1972.

Shields Ferry Manager, Carol Timlin, said: "It's really wonderful to see that the Freda Cunningham is still carrying passengers after all these years.

"We had wondered for a while what had become of her. It became a bit of a mystery.

"It's always really nice to see a former Shields Ferry being put to good use and long may that continue."

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