Iarnród Éireann members of Ireland’s National Bus and Railworkers’ Union and Siptu are planning a two day work stoppage, as a means of striking. However, according to an article recently completed by The Irish Times, the timing of the strike is inconvenient, as it coincides with the All-Ireland Hurling Final, which involves teams from Tipperary and Kilkenny. The fans and supporters for both of these teams will be traveling the same road—a road affected by roadwork currently underway by the National Bus and Railworkers’ Union. The roadwork, which is taking place at Newlands Cross, in addition to the factor of the strike, is expected to make methods of travel for excited fans very difficult.
Not only are all fans expected to come in to the event using the same road, there is also the factor of overflow on other methods of public transportation. Conor Faughnan, AA Ireland spokesman, indicated that the strike will put additional pressure on the State’s other means of transportation. On regular match days, the Irish Rail already suffers an estimated additional twenty thousand passengers. With the strike to consider, it is expected this number will only increase drastically. As a result, it is assumed that the roadwork will probably affect both sets of traveling fans and supporters in large numbers. Knowing this, Faughnan encourages all who expect to travel to the game that are unfamiliar with the area undergoing roadwork to study the area before the travel date; the area is confusing and the strike will undeniably add delays, and knowing the course can at least reduce the frustration involved.
An authority from each team’s board had comments to make on the issue of the strike and the effect it is bound to have on travel for fans. John Mackay, chairman of the Kilkenny County Board’s Supporters’ Club, indicated that other members of the board are very annoyed by the timing of the strike. Mackay claims that approximately seven thousand people typically travel from Kilkenny by train. However, with the added pressure of the strike, Mackay noted that the train and several other private bus companies were seeing a high number of bookings; the companies have barely managed to cope with the demand.
Alternatively, Andy Fogarty, Tipperary County Board spokesman, declared that the board would be posting travel information through their website in the week leading up to the big event. Fogarty also acknowledged that the strike would most likely be a huge inconvenience, and urged supporters to regularly check the website for alternative methods of travel.