| 17.3°C Dublin

Commuter misery after gales leave travellers stranded

STORM Darwin left commuters stranded for hours last night after playing havoc with the public transport system.

Hundreds of people were stuck inside Heuston Station after debris on the lines caused delays to Irish Rail services.

There was major disruption on Cork and Limerick services as gales brought trees down on to the tracks.

An Irish Rail spokesman said that crews had boarded departing trains with equipment such as chainsaws in a bid to clear the lines en route.

The 7pm services to Cork and Limerick were among those departures significantly delayed, with commuters left waiting for up to an hour.

Ann Kane from Tralee, Co Kerry, and her daughter Leona were among the annoyed commuters who were forced to wait inside the cold station.

The pair, who had been due to leave Dublin at 7pm, were worried that the train carriages would be unable to carry the large crowds still there.

"The trains were supposed to be leaving, but I don't think that any of the rest of the trains did, so now we are all supposed to be going on the same ones," Ann said. "We just want to go back home."

Mary Dowling, from Mallow, Co Cork, was in the city to see a show with six of her friends.

She had been due to depart on a train in the early evening, but was told that her group was facing a 90-minute delay.

She and her friends went to buy coffee, but discovered when they returned that the scheduled train had departed after all.

It forced them to wait for the next one, which eventually left shortly after 8pm.

"We're hoping to get it," she said before leaving. "We missed one as it wasn't announced."


Orla Kavanagh, who was also waiting for the 7pm train to Portlaoise, had been due to go to her friend's birthday celebrations, but feared she would end up missing them.

"I am actually delivering cakes to a 40th birthday party this evening," Orla told the Herald. "Hopefully, now I will barely make the end of it."

Many commuters expressed their frustration at the delays, and one annoyed passenger in a huge crowd that had gathered around the platforms claimed that the operators "aren't telling us anything".

Irish Rail announced shortly after 6pm that "limited train services" had resumed operation to and from Kerry, Limerick and Cork "but may be subject to delays".

DART services between Dalkey and Greystones were also suspended because of debris on the lines.