Early-morning odyssey of international workers as capital lurches into action
Mark Devlin never sleeps on his way from Leopardstown Valley to St Stephen’s Green. He works in maintenance in Smithfield. “I like the Luas but it’s annoying that it doesn’t connect with the other line . . . I have to get off and walk.”
Heading to Blanchardstown, Joanna Dmitrous from Poland isn’t bothered that she has to take a bus after getting off at the Luas terminus in town. “But I do wish the 39 bus was on time. It is supposed to leave at 6.20 but never leaves before 6.30am and sometimes it’s 20 minutes late. I’ve waited an hour a couple of times.”
The first Dart,
If you are a first Dart regular, you know to wrap up warm. There’s a chill wind blowing down the platform at Howth where a couple of people are waiting to board the 6.05, final destination Bray. It seems nobody has a bad word to say about the Dart. Karen Pryal, who is heading to work at the Educo gym in Blackrock, says it’s “good, very good”.
The only thing she can criticise is that there isn’t a 5.30am train.
Wearing big headphones, 21-year-old Karen Roberts, a veterinary student in Dundalk, is as happy as someone who makes a four-hour round trip to college every day can be. She gets the first Dart into town and then a bus to Dundalk. “I’m used to it now – this is my third and final year,” she says. “But I am getting a bit sick of the travelling so I might move up there in January.”
The Dart is bright, clean and comfortable. You mightn’t fall asleep on a bus that has to lurch around corners, but it’s definitely possible on the tracks.
Adrenaline is keeping Melissa O’Donnell (17) alert. She is starting a new job as a waitress in a city-centre hotel.
“The Dart is going to be very handy, I’ll get off at Pearse Street.” She should be in fifth year in school but she left because she was bullied over the course of a year. “I think I made the right decision; it was unbearable. I do hope to go back to education at some point. I’d like to be a nurse,” she says.
Across the aisle, Rafeaela Ramos from São Paolo in Brazil is off to work handing out free newspapers from 7-9.30am in Blackrock. It allows her to do another job in a coffee shop and study English.
By the time we reach Killiney the morning light is creeping into the sky. Then passengers are greeted with those breathtaking dawn views across Dublin Bay arriving like a reward for all those on the early-morning commuter odyssey.