The absence of a waiting room and toilet facilities at the railway station in Clonmel has been blasted as shameful by South Tipperary county councillors.
On Monday the councillors demanded the presence of Iarnrod Eireann and Bus Eireann at a meeting to explain why the doors to the railway station are padlocked and the elderly have to wait in the freezing cold outside the building for buses and trains.
The meeting was told about a busload of American tourists who stopped at the station recently and found no toilet facilities. A businessman opposite the station came to their rescue and made his single toilet available as the forty Americans queued up to use the toilet.
Angry council members demanded that representatives of Iarnrod Eireann and Bus Eireann attend a meeting of the council to explain the ‘unacceptable’ situation.
They unanimously supported a motion tabled by Cllr. Michael Murphy calling for toilet facilities to be reinstated at the station as a matter of urgency.
“This is an absolute fiasco” said Cllr.Murphy and a solution had to be found so that the elderly and members of the public did not have to stand outside the station in all weathers to wait for trains and buses. A commercial cafe when open at least gave people access to a waiting area and a toilet but it was not sustainable even though the rent was low.
“It is disgraceful that elderly people have to stand outside in the cold with no access to a toilet or a waiting room. A solution has to be found,” said Cllr. Murphy.
Cllr. Darren Ryan said the railway and bus companies should not be expecting a private venture to bail them out from their responsibility to ensure proper services were provided for their own customers.
“It is an appalling situation that has been tolerated for far too long,” said Cllr. Ryan.
Cllr. Richie Molloy said it was wrong that people arriving in Clonmel on a bus and a train were relying on business people across the road for basic facilities.
“How do they expect people to get back to using the train services when this situation is allowed continue in Clonmel,” he said.
Cllr. Pat English said the situation had been going on for years.
“We need to get people responsible for the operation of Clonmel Railway Station before us for a meeting and get them to explain the situation. This is a busy bus and rail station and it is shameful that the very basic facilities are not provided,” he said.
The members instructed officials to write to the two companies and to contact them by phone to ask them to attend a meeting of the council.