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Saturday 21 July 2018

Unsuspecting tourists see plans thrown into disarray

An empty Hueston Station during yesterday's strike. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
An empty Hueston Station during yesterday's strike. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Ryan Nugent

Unsuspecting tourists felt the brunt of yesterday's Irish Rail strike as they were forced to make alternative transport arrangements.

Some 155,000 commuters felt the effects of the dispute between Iarnród Éireann and its workers, as train drivers look for a wage increase of 3.75pc.

Richard Smith and his wife Larissa only arrived in Dublin from Chicago on Tuesday afternoon, and had no idea the strike was taking place as they arrived at Heuston Station.

The couple, carrying large suitcases, had train tickets to Cork.

"We just arrived yesterday, and even the hotel didn't tell us there was a strike, and we're right there across the street," Mr Smith said, pointing to a nearby hotel.

"It's a package so your hotel is already paid for, everything is paid for. We'll have to go back to the travel agent for the difference in the bus fare, because the train is already paid for," he added.

Iarnród Éireann staff Stephen Moles from Navan and Tommy Wynne from Tallaght on a picket with colleagues outside Hueston Station in Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Iarnród Éireann staff Stephen Moles from Navan and Tommy Wynne from Tallaght on a picket with colleagues outside Hueston Station in Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Earlier in the morning, Farren Clemenzi (29) from Boston had arrived at the train station with a pal, also heading to Cork, only to be told it was closed.

"We got up early this morning, we unfortunately didn't watch the news, which I suppose is a lesson learned," she said.

"So we went to the train station this morning and it looked closed, and a bunch of the strikers came up to us and said 'You're not going anywhere' - it definitely throws our plans off for the day, but we're figuring it out," she added, before boarding a bus to Cork.

Meanwhile, those commuting up to the capital for work also had to use alternative means.

Domnic Rose at Connolly Station. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Domnic Rose at Connolly Station. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Adam Duggan (32), from Gorey, Co Wexford, said he would usually get the 6.45am train up for college.

"It's a bit of a pain. My brother-in-law works up by the Red Cow so I'm going to get the Luas out to him this afternoon and try get a lift home with him," he said.

"I was lucky enough that I have some family members that can help out a little bit, but I know a lot of people wouldn't have that.

"I don't know too much about the railworkers' pay deal really, I just know they haven't had a pay increase in the past few years," he added.

Farren Clemenzi at Busarus. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Farren Clemenzi at Busarus. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Pat Lenehan, of Bernard Kavanagh bus services, said he had about 10 more passengers than usual on his coach from Arklow to the capital.

Dominic Rose (23) from Smithfield, was off work for the day, but had intended on going for a run. "I just wanted to go run around Bray Head but I had no idea this was happening," he said. "I'm sure other people were more affected than me, this was just a social thing, but if you're working it's obviously a bit of a pain."

Adam Duggan at Busarus. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Adam Duggan at Busarus. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Larissa and Richard Smith from the USA at Heuston Station in Dublin. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Larissa and Richard Smith from the USA at Heuston Station in Dublin. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Irish Independent

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