On 26 December 2010 and 2 January 2011, Calmac had a ferry calling at Tarbert, Harris. Both those days were Sundays. It was for the first time in history that a ferry had docked at Tarbert on the Sabbath. Calmac have explained that the aforementioned calls were for operational reasons, as not having a sailing on those days would have left Tarbert without a ferry for three days in a row.
It was revealed today that Calmac are conducting a consultation on implementing a Sunday service between Tarbert and Uig (Skye) with the start of the summer timetable on March 27th. Feelings within Harris appear to be divided. However, Calmac now have two precendents on their record where they have introduced Sunday sailings against some local opposition. The first was in 2006, with the Berneray to Leverburgh sailing, and the second in 2009, when the Stornoway to Ullapool ferry began to ply on the Sabbath. It would stand to reason to expect a Sunday service to be commenced on all the legs of the Uig - Lochmaddy - Tarbert triangle. You could argue that Harris residents could drive to Stornoway (40 to 60 miles away) on Sunday, but there is unfortunately no public transport to take non-drivers there on that day of the week.
Some 30 years ago, local fishermen had threatened to blockade Tarbert against a Sunday ferry. The image of a gentleman of the cloth prostrating himself across the Kyleakin slipway in 1965 also comes to mind. Should Calmac send the MV Hebrides into Tarbert on Sunday 27 March, I don't think the ripples will be any worse than those generated by the ferry's entry into East Loch Tarbert.