Kerry and Mayo supporters will bus it all the way to Croker
DIVIDED on the sideline but united in the journey - Mayo and Kerry supporters grapple to reach Croke Park ahead of rail strikes.
From Castlebar to Killarney, bus tickets are scarcer than match tickets for Sunday's All-Ireland football semi-final.
Aiden McLoughlin, public relations officer for Mayo GAA, said: "It's a major disruption and it's going to seriously discommode our supporters.
"It's one of the biggest sporting dates in the yearly calendar so they couldn't have picked a worse day."
Although alternative bus arrangements are in place, seasoned Mayo supporter Mick Byrne, from Castlebar, said many were booked out.
"I know from going to matches down through the years thousands of people travel by rail and unfortunately it's not to be this weekend," said Mr Byrne, who will run a supporters bus on the day.
"There are only so many buses and a lot of people have decided that they're going to watch the match at home or in the local pub," he said, adding that some private operators are leaving at 6.30am to beat the traffic from the West.
Down in the kingdom, supporters are equally hindered but say the strike won't deter them. John O'Leary, public relations officer for Kerry GAA, said: "It certainly is an inconvenience, but there is an abundance of coach tour operators in the county so hopefully they'll take up the slack."
He described fans as a "resourceful lot" that would definitely make the journey to Croke Park.
Bus Eireann, Dublin Bus and Luas will provide their normal level of service with some additional capacity if demand is high. And private bus operators may increase capacity on existing licensed routes near rail services.
For more information www.transportforireland.ie