Swilly Buses

I read into today’s Inish Times front page that the Swilly Bus Company, after operating for 150 years, is almost certain to be liquidated.

It employs 17 people in Northern Ireland and 58 in Donegal – jobs which Donegal just cannot afford to lose.

Luckily for it, its offices are registered in Derry rather than Donegal as it is the taxman who is filing to put it into insolvency.

It means a better chance of it re-opening after insolvency.


In Ireland they have a crazy law where new owners would have to pay the previous owners’ tax debts.

That doesn’t happen in the UK, USA or indeed anywhere else that I know of.

It is why the Foyle Hotel in Moville stays shut and the Town Clock (Big Ben’s) has re-opened and the Caiseal Mara will re-open.

They were closed by the banks rather than the taxman.

Forever & a Day

The company, L&LSR have been running buses from Derry to this area since 1853.

For more than a hundred years it took passengers from the Laird’s Loch, which ran from Glasgow’s Broomielaw to Derry from 1826 to 1966 and took them to all over Inishowen providing a huge tourist boost to the area.

The Laird’s Loch left us in 1966 and shortly the Swilly Bus company could be gone too.

Of course, the company is being wound up in Northern Ireland and could potentially keep running in the south.

However, if the business is not profitable and can’t pay their taxes then they would find Ireland’s Revenue services a much harder nut to crack.