Bus Éireann strike: Commuters fear Mother’s Day impact

Welsh fans affected by stoppages as tweets highlight mixed support for strikers

Michael Peakin, NBRU Branch Secretary Broadstone photographed outside Busarus this morning. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Michael Peakin, NBRU Branch Secretary Broadstone photographed outside Busarus this morning. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

 

Frustrated commuters took to social media on Friday morning to complain about the potential impact of the Bus Éireann strike and Irish Rail cancellations on Mother’s Day plans.

Thousands of people around the country will have arranged to travel home this Sunday using public transport to celebrate Mother’s Day with loved ones.

About 100,000 Bus Éireann passengers are expected to be affected by Friday’s strike action, including about 1,500 children who use the school transport scheme.

Friday’s strike action has also affected football fans arriving in Ireland ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualifier with Wales at the Aviva stadium.

Welsh football fans twitter account @fsfwalesfanemb tweeted a contact number to fans “stuck at ports due to bus strike”, saying they would organise alternative travel with private transport firms.

Deirdre Leacy posted on Twitter that she wouldn’t be able to make it home to see her mum, while Amy in Limerick called for the unions to “sort out this strike before Sunday, yea? Can’t get home to the mammy”.

A number of users said they supported the strike, but that the decision by Irish Rail to cancel services was making travel plans particularly difficult. @Seamusjkearney tweeted: “Those in Bus Éireann have right to strike, they exercising it, gave notice beforehand. But Irish Rail workers doing cause no favours today.”

James Nolan (@jamesnolan97) warned that the strike could “bring the country to a standstill if not resolved”, while Elaine D (@AAScreaming) tweeted that the industrial action would prevent her daughter from making it to school and her husband reaching work. She tweeted: “#buseireann insufficient notice to take day off or make alternative arrangements. This is pretty crap & I’ve got limited sympathy for strike”.

@fintancox and @kilts4me tweeted that many people would be forced to miss flights, hospital appointments and job interviews due to the strike while @fintancox said commuters should have been given more warning by Unite.

@amynifh also criticised Irish Rail for failing to provide notice of their cancellations, tweeting that the service was “taking the absolute piss cancelling trains without notice. I’m stuck for hours!!”

Among the array of complaints over delays and missed appointments, a small number of tweets appeared offering lifts to those stranded by the strike.

A user named @Louisemcire tweeted: “Can we get #liftshareireland trending for all the stranded souls today? I’m driving Limerick to Moate if anyone needs a spin! #busstrike”.

Another, @thekickart, tweeted: “For any poor souls stuck due to #buseireann strike, I’m driving Dublin city to Wexford this afternoon & have room. No catch, just good will!”

Irish Rail spokesman Barry Kenny has said the company will offer refunds for tickets bought for cancelled services arising from picketing at a number of locations. However, the company says it is not in a position to pay for alternative arrangements.