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Irish Rail Passengers Investigating Lack Of Thurles Pre-booked Seats

For regular Irish Rail commuters travelling to and from Thurles station, the following scenario, involving the constant lack of seating on Irish Rail, will be viewed as a familiar Friday evening encounter.

On Saturday last, November 23rd, some 45 scouts and their 6 Leaders from the Cahir area of Co. Tipperary, together with other regular commuters, were obliged to sit on the well-trodden, floor aisles of their train, due to pre-organised seating facilities failing to materialise.

When they went in search of their pre-booked, paid in advance seating, it became obvious that the carriages they were to occupy were non-existent. With parents waiting to pick them up at an agreed time and collection point; the Cub & Scout Troop; the majority of whom were aged between eight and eleven years old, were forced to sit out for their 1 hour return journey, on the damp floor, as they travelled from Heuston Station to Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on the 5.05pm scheduled commute.

The Cahir Cub & Scouts Troop had paid €1,180 initially in advance, to pre-book their necessary seating for an annual Christmas treat, but now when their Scout leaders went in search of their indicated carriages F & G, on which the seats had been pre-booked, same could not be located and in fact did not exist.

Their Irish Rail problem had begun earlier however; at the start of their journey to Dublin, when initially they had accessed the rail locomotive in Thurles railway station. The train had already picking up its required speed, when their pre-booked seats were found to be already fully occupied. Adult commuters now occupying their seats had to be moved to stand and in some cases members of the Troop had to doubled-up, in order to respect the needs of elderly passengers.

But that wasn’t to be the end of their harrowing experience. It was on the return journey; having spent a very enjoyable and edifying day in Dublin visiting museums etc, that this group of 45 Scouts and their six Leaders, would suffer at the hands of further unmitigated incompetency.

That evening the Cub and Scout Troop found themselves piled on top of one another; seated on dirty, littered, half washed floors or on table tops, in the knowledge that their emergency exits were blocked; and with each child, dog-tired after their busy and active day’s outing.
Usually available food and drink trolleys were suspended in the interest of health & safety, because the aisles were so packed with people either sitting down or standing holding unto bars and backs of seats.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson from Irish Rail issued a rather dubious apology to the Scouts. stating; “Irish Rail would like to sincerely apologise to each member of the Cahir Cub and Scout Group. The service they received was not acceptable and for that we are truly sorry. Our Head of Customer Experience made contact this afternoon with the leader of the Group and a full refund is being processed today. Saturday 23rd was a planned Line Improvement Works weekend and as a result there was reduced capacity on all services into & out of Heuston. We had extremely high volumes of customers travelling with us on Saturday and the train was full on arrival at Thurles. The online allocation was sold out on this service and the remainder of the seats were taken by turn-up and go customers.
On the return journey on a normal Saturday, this service would have been an 8-carriage train, but this was changed to a 5-carriage train due to the line improvement works and the group had originally booked onto the 8-carriage train. The booking was not transferred correctly onto the new train set so that is why their reservation did not appear we are currently investigating why this happened. We have taken a number of lessons from this unfortunate incident and will work to ensure that we will have better systems in place in the future to ensure that no other customers have the experience that the Cahir Cub and Scout Group had,” concluded the statement.

One wonders how two extra carriages added to a locomotive, subsidised by Irish taxpayers, could have affected line improvement works? But what do we know?

In another complaint forwarded to us some weeks ago, we are aware that two elderly ‘free travel’ passengers, travelling to Limerick Hospital and due to change at Limerick Junction, travelling from Thurles; unable to find a seat, unknowingly sat in an empty 1st class carriage. They were quickly approached by what they identified as a tall, aggressive balding, elderly Ticket Inspector, wearing thin framed glasses. Latter, indeed as was his right, he demanded that tickets be shown, before sternly informing both commuters that “free travel” was not available to persons accessing first class compartments. He now requested that they pay for first class tickets, if they were to remain in the empty carriage.

Since there are no other train stops between Thurles & Limerick Junction, (just a trip of 18 minutes from Thurles), no one else was going to ascend the locomotive, to use this carriage. Refusing to pay the fee then requested; both elderly persons were requested to return to the 2nd Class quarters, where they remained without seating and were forced to stand by the carriage exit doors. Both passengers stated that they felt like they had been reprimanded by ‘the commandant of a WW II concentration camp’.

Next year guys, consider hiring a private bus, because, as the Irish Rails advert claims, “Rail travel is so good nobody wants to get off”, no doubt the cause of last Saturday’s problem of seating.


Pedestrian Pronounced Dead Following Collision Near Thurles

A male, aged in his 30s, has been killed after he was struck by a vehicle near Thurles, in Co Tipperary.

The man was walking in the area of Coolkennedy, on the N62, latter between Horse and Jockey and Thurles Town, at around 3:00am this morning, when the tragic collision occurred.

Both Gardaí and Emergency Services immediately attended at the incident scene, however the pedestrian was pronounced dead a short time later.

His body has now been removed to the mortuary at University Hospital Limerick, where later a post-mortem examination will take place.

The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, understood to be a van, remained thankfully uninjured.

Persons with information are being asked to contact Thurles Garda Station on Tel: 0504 25100 or the Garda Confidential Line Tel: 1800 666 111.

The roadway remained closed early this morning, but has since reopened.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Alas, this tragic incident brings to 13 persons, the number of fatalities on Tipperary roads so far, this current year; an increase of two when compared with 2018 figures.


Man Dead Following Road Crash In South Tipperary

A male motorist, understood to be in his 30’s, has tragically lost his life in a car accident here in Co Tipperary. The incident happened in the early hours of this morning.

Two passengers, a male and female, both in their 20s, also travelling in the vehicle have been injured and while they have been removed to hospital, their injuries, thankfully, are not believed to be life-threatening.

We understand that the accident occurred sometime around 3:00am this morning, on the N24 at Killaloan on the outskirts of Clonmel town. While no other vehicle was involved, it is understood the car, a silver coloured VW Polo, left the road, before striking a wall.

Gardaí were summoned to the scene and the driver of the vehicle was quickly removed to South Tipperary General Hospital, where he has since been pronounced dead.

The road currently remains closed to traffic and local diversions are in place.
Anyone who has any information regarding this accident are being asked to immediately contact Clonmel Garda Station Tel: 052 617 7640, or the Garda Confidential Line Tel: 1800 666 111.


Hypocrisy Personified

The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” [Isaiah Chapter 29 – Verse13.]

Hypocrisy – The practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is really the case.

Readers will remember that in early July 2019, Ireland’s High Court granted Tipperary Co. Council an injunction, compelling members of the Travelling Community to vacate an area where their halting site was regarded as “constituting a public danger” to themselves and others. Another more serious, yet similar Health & Safety issue has once again reoccurred in our Cathedral Town.

I refer, of course, to the ever moving pedestrian crossing / traffic lights, outside of Thurles Cathedral. Here again, same busy crossing is “constituting a public danger” to over 600 school children, as they attempt to cross twice daily, getting to and from rural school buses, not to mention the several hundred church pilgrims and local shoppers; all pedestrians, going about their daily business here in Thurles, each day.

Pedestrian Crossing, on Cathedral Street Thurles, once again struck by a high-sided vehicle. [Picture taken on November 15th 2019, G. Willoughby]

We here at Thurles.Info have highlighted the issue of the constantly moving pedestrian crossing traffic lights, outside of Thurles Cathedral, at least five times in all, first on February 1st, 2018. [Almost one year and ten months ago.]

The problems associated did not need the benefit /advice of a qualified County Council Engineer. It was obvious to the dogs currently permitted to fowl our streets, that when two high sided trucks attempt to pass in a narrow space, then such manoeuvres are bound to result in something being adjusted. On this present occasion even the steel pole supporting these traffic lights has now become somewhat curved from its original and previous straight condition.

This issue, we highlighted once again, on July 16th, 2018; and yes, readers will recall that we highlighted this same problem for the third time on January 22nd, 2019.

On April 2nd, 2019, we highlighted this topic yet again, rightly accusing Tipperary Co. Council of wasting rate payers money.

On September 10th 2019, we did not highlight this problem, in the real fear that our readers would think that we were suffering from paranoia.

Today however, November 16th, 2019, in view of recent High Court actions relating to several Health & Safety issues, each constituting a public danger, here in Thurles, we feel we should draw attention to this serious concern one more time, before someone has to be scraped off our Cathedral Street pedestrian crossing.

We are well aware by now that our Templemore /Thurles Municipal district councillors are totally powerless, but in the case where same Councillors have now been made aware, once again, of this issue; keep in mind that the above photo and web post will enable compensation costs to be more easily collected from Tipperary Co. Council. After all, they were and are fully aware of this ever present danger.

Time now, after almost two years of continuous repairs, to finally move these offending traffic lights to a safer distance, apart from each other and to pursue the need for that long awaited Thurles Ring Road, thus removing 21st century, 18-wheeler, freight-carrying-trucks from our 12th century, narrow streets.

Having been completely failed by our current Fine Gael minority government and their supporters, with regard to the promised Thurles Ring Road, one wonders why we are presently bothering to up-grade Liberty Square next year or whenever.


Irish Rail Advise Customers To Check Journey Details This Weekend.

Iarnród Éireann are advising customers to check their journey details prior to travelling this weekend.

Note: A full list of available services can be viewed on line, on Irish Rail’s web application, Journey Planner, or by Telephoning (0504) 21733 or (01) 836 6222.

Over this weekend, Dublin Cork and Limerick rail line services, affecting Thurles, are set to be disrupted with service cancellations and bus replacement transfers, latter which will impact several Munster and Leinster counties.

For commuters travelling to Dublin, Irish Rail confirm that Dart services are also expected to be somewhat restricted.

On tomorrow, Saturday, November 9th, 2019, Irish Rail confirm that the following changes will apply.

21:00 hrs: Dublin Heuston to Cork will operate using a bus transfer from Heuston serving Portlaoise and Thurles, when commuters will then continue their journey by train from Thurles to Cork.

20:25 hrs: Cork to Dublin Heuston reverse run will operate again back to Thurles only, with bus transfers in operation beginning from Thurles; serving Portlaoise, Portarlington, Monasterevin, Kildare, Newbridge and Heuston.

On Sunday, November 10th the 08:30hrs Heuston to Tralee service is deferred to the later time of 09:00hrs.

Iarnród Éireann, apologising for this disruption to services, state that this investment of some €10 million in overall line improvements, will lead to greater service reliability; smoother running of trains and will further deliver a consistent 160kph speeds (100 mph), which in turn will deliver shorter journey times for its consumers.