The Irish Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, responsible for the Gaelic-speaking communities in the western part of the country, will issue a tender for Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes to the Aran Islands after Aer Arann Islands (Galway) announced it will leave the routes in December 2018, the Connacht Tribune has reported.

The Irish regional specialist will terminate all its PSO routes to the Aran Islands - including airports in Inisheer, Inishmaan, and Inishmore - on December 6, 2018.

"The Minister is seeking a meeting with representatives of the three island communities next week to discuss same and to assure them of his Department’s commitment to the continuation of this service from December onwards," the government has said in a statement.

Aer Arann currently connects Connemara on the Irish mainland with each of the small islands using BN-2 equipment. It flies 40x weekly to Inishmore, and 19x weekly to each of the other two islands.