Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox: Train journey to All-Ireland final was the scariest I’ve ever taken

Mattie Fox

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Mattie Fox

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Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox says a recent trip onboard a train to Dublin to see the All Ireland Final was the "scariest" he had ever taken

I travelled to the All Ireland Football Final, drawn encounter, on September 1, on Irish Rail. It was the scariest journey I’ve ever taken, anywhere, at any time.

I’ve waited until this week to warn everyone travelling to the All-Ireland Final replay, that it is immensely dangerous to take a journey on the Sligo/Dublin rail train, on an All-Ireland day.

It’s also scandalously dangerous on other days, but never ever have I experienced such a dreadful, continual crush.

The first match was starting at 1pm.

I watched, helpless, as an elderly woman began to faint in one of the overcrowded carriages, while people sought to help her.

Nobody except those in her immediate area could even begin to get to her.

As she eventually became helpless, and suddenly slumped, she was prevented from falling by the crush all around her.

One quick thinking passenger who was crushed against the woman, could barely get his hands up, from being crushed on all sides.

Eventually a hand appeared, with a bottle of water, and doused the woman.

Thankfully she recovered. But looking very shaken.

I have never, ever seen such an overcrowded train, perhaps almost as crowded as the tube trains in London, but even the worst such journeys, in the morning and evening time, have never been as crowded as the train from Sligo to Drumcondra on September 1.

I was too fearful to come home, and I stayed overnight in Dublin.

Health & safety? It obviously doesn’t apply to Iarnród Éireann on All-Ireland day.

This column has highlighted the treatment of passengers in the past; this time was simply unforgettable, outrageous, atrocious.

Maybe if someone dies on the train, due to acute overcrowding, Iarnród Éireann may finally take notice.

I’m going to the replay, obviously, but I will not travel on the train.

Advertising the train as being ‘easy’ is a terrible contradiction.

I’d rather drive anymore, it’s safer, on All-Ireland days.

Don’t Iarnród Éireann know when the All-Ireland is happening the crowd is going to be big?