The founding of the ferries from Doolin to The Aran Islands is a story of chance and good old Irish luck. Bill O’Brien was a young local farmer who often visited the fine establishments of Doolin (The Pubs of Course). On a fine summer’s day he met two American ladies who were visiting the area. Being able to see the Aran Islands from Doolin Pier they asked Bill:
“Can you tell us what’s out there across the water”? Bill replied, “I can do you one better and I’ll show you”.
So off they set out from Doolin Pier in a traditional currach and history was made. Little did the two ladies know that this was his maiden voyage and the year was 1970.
Over the years as Ireland changed so did Doolin Ferries. Throughout the years Bill was always seeking to improve his business working within the conditions that exist at Doolin Pier. Little by little he upgraded his fleet gradually to what it is today. To this very day we have return visitors that had travelled with Bill in the early years and have fond memories of the 70s and 80s when they travelled to the islands in a much different time.