Workers 'have the backing of public'
Workers picketing outside Kent Station in Cork insisted they enjoyed "enormous support" from the public over their controversial two-day strike.
Kent Station was largely deserted yesterday with only a handful of foreign tourists arriving, totally unaware of the national rail stoppage.
The two-day stoppage has paralysed all rail services in Cork including InterCity services bound for Dublin and commuter rail services to Cobh, Midleton and Mallow.
For some, it was only a minor inconvenience.
"We did not know that there was a strike - we were on holidays in west Cork and are travelling to Dublin for three days before we fly back to France," Jean and Noelle Brignaud said.
"In France, we are strong supporters of trade unions so we do not have a problem if it is about defending pay," they said.
"The workers were very nice to us and one offered to walk with us to show us where the bus station is."
Throughout the day, NBRU workers on picket duty on the Lower Glanmire Road had motorists sounding their horns to indicate their support.
All three major entrances to Kent Station were picketed by a rotating roster of 14 workers.
"Not one person here today wants to be on strike.
"We would rather be working. But we are here to defend our pay and conditions," one worker said.
Bus Eireann and private bus operators reported brisk business throughout the day.
Cork Chamber of Commerce and Cork Business Association warned the major strike impact will be felt today.
There was minimal sports-related travel via Kent Station with Cork having exited the All-Ireland.
Kerry GAA fans had planned to travel via Rathmore and Mallow rail stations.