Dismay at Bus Éireann decision to axe Dublin to Cork service
Expressway service vital for locals and tourists, say business interests in Cashel
A Bus Éireann coach pulls into Cashel on the Dublin-Cork route. Photograph: John D Kelly
News that Bus Éireann is to end its Dublin to Cork Expressway service was greeted with shock and dismay on Tuesday by people in Cashel, one of seven stops serviced by the route.
Bus Éireann announced on Monday that its Expressway services between Dublin and Cork, Dublin and Galway and Dublin and Limerick are to cease and the Dublin-Belfast service is to be suspended indefinitely.
The move is in response to challenges posed by Covid-19, said Bus Éireann.
It also said it had not yet determined cessation dates but changes are likely early next year when emergency supports to the Cork, Limerick and Galway routes expire.
Cashel chamber of commerce president Martin Lynch described the move as “a kick in the teeth for the town”.
“Several years ago, private operators ended their express service between Cashel and Cork-Dublin and this decision by Bus Éireann will leave Cashel with no direct bus links to two of our major cities and airports,” he said.
“It will now make it difficult for people to travel for work, education or leisure purposes and is a further blow to the planned recovery of our tourism sector. It is short-sighted and flawed and needs to be reviewed and reversed.”
On the streets of Cashel the mood was gloomy. Those using the service, which links the town and Cahir, were stunned at the decision.
Monica Corbett from Ardfinnan had just travelled from Cahir to Cashel on the Dublin-bound bus and said it was a vital service for people locally, in terms of local commuting and travelling to Cork and Dublin.
“I’m working here in Cashel and I’m coming from Cahir and over the past eight years I would have had to give up my job here were it not for this service . . . it’s going to be a terrible loss for people going to hospital appointments too.”
Across the street, Sally O’Dwyer from Cashel was waiting to catch the Cork-bound bus to Cahir.
“I just heard about Bus Éireann’s plans to cut the service a few minutes ago . . . that’s crazy.
“It’s a backward move. I travel to Cork and I travel to Dublin by bus, I would be on the bus at least once or twice a week to Cork or Dublin or Cahir so it will impact on us . . . it will be very hard to get anywhere from Cashel.”
Not that it’s just commuters who will suffer. Local cafe owner Stan Morrow of Stan’s Donut Bar spoke in June about how he was looking forward to garnering business with those waiting to catch a bus.
“We get a lot of business off the buses every day – both the Cork bound and Dublin bound services – it’s nothing great at the moment because of Covid but in the normal course, it’s worth €100 a day. So if we lose the bus it’s big blow.”
Fine Gael Cllr Declan Burgess said axing the X8 Expressway service would be a huge blow to the town, not just in terms of locals including students who use it to travel to Dublin and Cork but also local tourist attractions.
He said from talking to the Office of Public Works he knew that a considerable number of people get the X8 to Cashel, “visit the Rock” and have their lunch in the town before going back to the city where they are based.
“It’s going to have a huge negative impact and it’s not warranted so it’s important the community rallies around. And I would call on all our Oireachtas members from Tipperary to stop this, we need to retain this service.”