The lives of Irish commuters: 'I'm in the car up to 5 hours a day, but I have no other choice'

Work travellers share their stories (including the surprising things people get up to on trains) and the highs and lows of the international commute

A long commute means less time with family and little or no social life on weekdays, but these five Irish commuters agree: the sacrifices are worth the gains. Video: Kathleen Harris

It is 5.45am on Tuesday and still dark out. There are just four people sitting in the waiting area of Colbert Station in Limerick ahead of the departure of the first trains to Galway and Dublin. At 6am a member of staff lifts the shutter on the coffee counter as more people shuffle into the station.

Maurice Foley, a management consultant, arrives minutes later for his daily commute to Dublin. He makes a beeline for the front carriage of the train to Limerick Junction, knowing from 15 years of travelling this route that it will leave him in the right spot to board the last carriage, the quiet carriage, of the connecting 5.50am Cork-Dublin train and will still be covered by the platform’s rain shelter.

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