Irish Rail u-turn is not enough, say Longford councillors

Councillors calling for a meeting with Irish Rail's Barry Kenny

Jessica Thompson

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Jessica Thompson

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jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Longford Train Station incident

Local councillors last week welcomed the news that Irish Rail chiefs have restored the four carriages that they previously took from a busy Friday evening commuter service to Connolly Station.

At a meeting of the Longford County Council last week, Cllr Gerry Warnock expressed his delight at the company's u-turn .

“I’m absolutely delighted to see that the company have done a u-turn and reinstated the four carriages to the 7.15pm service on a Friday evening.

“I first brought this to the public’s attention back in the middle of November.

“I’d like to thank my colleagues here at the county council for their support in the December meetings. And I’d just like to acknowledge the role of Deputy Robert Troy who followed up on this request.

“I think it’s a big win for Longford. I think it’s great to see that common sense has prevailed,” he said.

“It’s going to make a huge difference to service users from Longford and indeed the other towns along that line. So I just wish to acknowledge that.”

Also read: Troy urges resumption of talks in Irish Rail dispute

His colleages , Cllrs Peggy Nolan, PJ Reilly, Micheál Carrigy and Mae Sexton also expressed their delight at the u-turn and acknowledged Deputy Troy's role in the u-turn.

“However,” said Cllr Sexton, “I did call for Barry Kenny’s resignation and I have not changed my opinion on Barry Kenny.

“The cheek of him to come into a meeting here in the town council less than a year ago and tell us he’s improving the service.

“A u-turn is not sufficient in my mind and I am calling on him to come into a meeting and explain what that was all about.

“He didn’t care, nor does he care, whether or not Longford people have to stand all the way to Dublin. I think we need to invite him to a meeting.”

Cllr Peggy Nolan agreed that Barry Kenny should be invited to a council meeting, and took the opportunity to point out some other Irish Rail issues that should be put to the Iarnród Éireann Corporate Communications Manager.

“There’s an automatic ticket dispenser at the station and it is the company’s intent, as far as I am led to believe, that the station will be unmanned and I think that’s very dangerous,” said Cllr Nolan.

“We have a comprehensive station that’s operating very well. It’s a gateway to the west and as far as I’m concerned, it has to be manned.

“It could throw up so much anti-social behaviour if you haven’t someone on that platform that can take control and help people out.

“And disability travel is another area that has to be clarified by Barry Kenny.

“So I totally support Mae’s motion to invite him to come and answer all our concerns.”

Her comments were met with murmurs of agreement from around the room as councillors pledged their support for the proposal.

Read next: Irish Rail chiefs in u-turn over Longford service