Louth Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster, has today accused Minister for Transport Shane Ross of being “content” that rail passengers are being inconvenienced by the ongoing dispute at Iarnród Éireann.
Rail commuters in Louth were affected by yesterday’s one day work stoppage, the first of five set to take place over the five weeks.
Deputy Munster had this to say:
“Minister Ross gave a firm commitment that a forum involving all stakeholders would be established after the Bus Éireann strike.
“That was in March and it is now November and there is still no sign of this forum.
“This is just another example of the Minister’s disinterest in public transport.
"He has no regard for the workers and he has no regard for Iarnród Éireann, as he refuses to invest in the company despite being aware, for over a year now, that the company is in dire financial straits due to years of underinvestment in infrastructure."
Deputy Munster went on to say:
“He cannot blame the workers for this one. Passenger numbers and current revenue are doing very well indeed, and are expected to hit record highs in 2017.
"The problem is the enormous deficit in infrastructural investment which only the state can provide."
Deputy Munster concluded by asking the Minister to take action:
“I am urging the Minster to take an interest in his portfolio. This is the third CIÉ strike in less than two years. He needs to acknowledge the problems faced by public transport and address them.
"A good start would be to study the Rail Review report on his desk, and to establish the stakeholder forum that he promised us back in the spring.”