Thursday 19 October 2017

'If it was in Dublin, the Bus Éireann strike would be resolved' - Fianna Fáil leader tells Dáil

Stock photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Stock photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

The Bus Eireann strike would have been resolved “a long time ago” if it was impacting more directly on Dublin, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said.

Mr Martin has told the Dáil there is a “general sense in regional towns across the country” that the Government is standing back because it’s not a Dublin issue.

He said people are “annoyed and angry at the lack of activity”.

Around 110,000 people a day use Bus Eireann’s services but the workers have been on strike from the past 12 days amid claims the company wants to cut their salaries by up to 30pc.

“When you look at the Dublin-Rural thing again and how Dublin Bus is funded versus Bus Eireann.

“Bus Eireann gets a lower subsidy per passenger than Dublin Bus does.

“Rural and regional Ireland is not getting its fair share,” Mr Martin said.

However, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said it is not the place of Transport Minister Shane Ross to intervene.

He said the minister has been “more than encouraging” towards the sides in a bid to restart talks that might end the industrial action.

Mr Kenny condemned the wildcat action which saw Dublin Bus and Irish Rail services brought to a standstill last Friday.

“No amount of taxpayers money can solve the inefficiencies that both sides agree exists in the company,” he said.

“They both agree that the company needs to reform. The place to settle those issues is not on the airwaves, it’s around the table with the WRC. “

Mr Kenny denied that rural Ireland was being short-changed, arguing the Government is making funds available to expand rural transport services.

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