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Misery for GAA fans as rail strike hits semi-finals

Rail chaos is set to hit DART and intercity services tomorrow and Monday causing major disruption for commuters and thousands of GAA fans heading for Croke Park.

All train services come to a standstill for 48 hours from midnight tonight in the first of a series of planned stoppages by the National Bus and Rail workers Union (NBRU) and Siptu.

DublinTown which represents 2,500 business in the city centre has made a last ditch plea to all parties in the dispute to find a way to avert industrial action.

The city centre will lose €25-€30m a day if the strike goes ahead, says CEO Richard Guiney.

Kieran Mulvey, who heads the Labour Relations Commission, said his organisation and the Labour Court had explored every available avenue.

"We can see no basis for any intervention at this stage. We would need a request from the parties to this dispute to do that and we do not have any such request," he added.

Meanwhile, determined football fans have booked every available seat on coach buses heading for the city for the much-anticipated All-Ireland senior and minor football Mayo v Kerry semi-final clashes.

About 15,000 Mayo supporters and up to 12,000 travelling from Kerry are expected in the city.

Mayo fan Aisling Gallagher and her friends Aoife King and Petrina Faulkner have come up of rail strike-proof way of making it to Sunday's match - just ask dad.


"Dad was going to the match anyway so I begged him to give us a lift when the trains weren't running," she said.

Donie O'Leary of the Kerry Supporters' Club said true football supporters would already have alternative arrangements made.

"If you really want to go to the match, hell or high water won't stop you," Mr O'Leary told the Herald conceding that the traffic will be nothing short of a nightmare.

Siptu organiser, Paul Cullen said his members "have been left with no option due to the determination of management to force through cuts in their pay without agreement."

An Irish Rail spokesperson said the cuts had to be implemented but the company was "available to talk about any other issues".

The train operator plans to implement temporary pay cuts for more than 3,000 staff which range from 1.7pc for those earning less than €56,000 a year up to 6pc for those on more than €100,000.