The next round of the Irish Rail strike is set to hit thousands of Tipperary hurling fans hoping to travel by train to Croke Park for the All-Ireland Final on Sunday week if a resolution is not found to the industrial dispute.
Iarnród Éireann’s plans to run three extra train services from Co. Tipperary train stations to and from Dublin on All-Ireland Hurling Final day as well as its four regular services have been thrown into disarray due to the impasse in the dispute over wage cuts.
The next round of strikes by National Bus and Railworkers Union and Siptu members are planned for Monday, September 8 as well as Sundays, September 7 and 21 when the All-Ireland hurling and football finals take place.
Rail is traditionally a popular means of transport to All-Ireland finals for Tipperary, who wish to avoid the traffic congestion on the roads to and from Dublin on the day.
“We would have thousands of people travelling by train on All-Ireland final day. We hope the dispute will be resolved but right now we are heading for three more strike days,” said Iarnród Éireann spokesperson Barry Kenny.
Tipperary GAA Co. Board Chairman Sean Nugent said a rail strike on September 7 will cause huge inconvenience to many Tipperary GAA supporters He said between 15,000 and 20,000 people attending the All-Ireland Hurling Final travelled to the game by train, which was a very significant number of people taken off the roads on the day.
Mr Nugent expressed the hope that Irish Rail and the workers’ trade unions will come together over the next week to end the dispute before the All-Ireland finals.
However, he confessed he wasn’t optimistic about the strike being called off.
“It doesn’t look good to me that it will be resolved in the short term because some of the issues associated with the dispute are so difficult.”
If the strike goes ahead, it’s expected Bus Eireann and private bus operators will increase the number of bus services between Tipperary and Dublin on All-Ireland day to cater for those travelling to Croke Park.