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Even more delays for frustrated travellers

Irate commuters have voiced their discontent at the strike by Irish Rail workers which has thrown travel plans into disarray.

The national train strike, which took place yesterday and continues today, is estimated to effect up to 160,000 passengers and will halt the services of Iarnród Éireann, including inter-city, commuter and Dart lines.

Brian Blacker, from Balbriggan, who was working in Dublin yesterday, said the dispute meant he had to get a bus instead of the commuter train home.

"Although both have roughly the same journey time, it is just less convenient as my work is just five minutes from Pearse Street Station. It's also a bit annoying that the bus I'm waiting for is already 15 minutes late," he said.

Niamh Manning, from Malahide, said the strike had drawn out her journey to Dublin from Donegal.

surprise

"We were coming back from Bundoran and would have been planning on getting the Dart back up home. When we left Donegal on Friday we heard a strike was being threatened so it's not a surprise, but it's a major inconvenience having to wait round late in the city centre for a bus home," she added.

Her friend, Colin Kelly, who is also living in Malahide, said he would not be looking forward to the longer commute into work in the city centre the following morning. "I usually get the Dart into work it would be faster than the bus - it's a bit mad the strike," he said.

Thousands of GAA fans attending the All-Ireland football championship semi-final in Croke Park also faced severe disruption to their travel plans.

Kerry supporter Eva Walsh, from Tralee, said she always travelled by train and that the strike had thrown her travel plans into chaos.

nightmare

"We usually stay overnight in Portartlington and then get the train into Dublin. Today has been an absolute nightmare.

"We had to take a bus from Monasterevin in Kildare to the Red Cow, but getting home is much harder.

The dispute has also taken unsuspecting tourists and those flying into Ireland from abroad by surprise.

Agnes Gruschka had flown into Dublin yesterday afternoon from Germany for work commitments in Cork. She said she was unimpressed by the chaos the transport systems in the country have been thrown into.

Echoing these sentiments, Sheila Hughes from Co Antrim who was accompanying Mayo relatives to the match said: "Coming from Belfast I did not know anything about the strike going on or why they were going on strike, but for trying to travel to Dublin for a once-off on a Sunday it was a frustrating."

Denis O'Neill from Templenoe in Kerry who usually depends on the train, added: "They are on strike for 1.7pc temporary paycut, it's biting off the hand that feeds you.

But I recognise what the union is doing. It's a pity they couldn't have sorted it out before this weekend."

hnews@herald.ie


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