Fianna Fáil Senator, Marc Mac Sharry, has called on the Government to intervene amid fears that services on the Dublin Sligo train are to be cut.
Senator Mac Sharry was responding to reports that cuts to the Dublin-Sligo rail service are imminent.
“I find it deeply worrying that there seems to be plans to cut the rail service link between Sligo and Dublin. This is a critical part of the access infrastructure of the entire region. For many people the rail link is the only viable way to commute to work on a daily basis.
“The massive price of petrol is precluding many people from driving and the possibility of the train service being cut will deeply distress a lot of families.
“Near the main employment hubs serviced by the Sligo line, people are commuting to work on the train route rather than pay more expensive rents in the larger towns and the only option they have is to make the journey on a daily basis.
“I find it perplexing that Irish Rail was given a €36 million cash injection in July to stave off the threat of cuts to services yet here we are in August with the same threat hanging over our heads.
“I am calling on the Minister for Transport to clarify where the €36 million investment went and what areas of Irish Rail received the cash injection. This comes from the Government that reneged on their promise to maintain the Sligo Dublin air link and now it seems incredible that they plan to scale down rail services.
The north west access is critical for tourism and business, both indigenous and through foreign direct investment, and to set about further dismantling our access medians will undermine our marketability as a location for business.
“I am under no illusions as to the problems that exist in the economy and clearly Irish Rail must deal with their own finances but cuts must not be made to the Sligo line, which is the north west region’s critical access artery. The people had to fight to save this line before and will again to ensure that the Government does not target our region unfairly,” concluded Senator Mac Sharry.