The sky-high costs of public transport are forcing Kerry people to travel cross-country in their cars, according to Kerry Councillor Jackie Healy-Rae.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, the Castleisland Councillor warned that Kerry fans travelling to this weekend’s All-Ireland Football Semi-Final will have to pay €85 for a return ticket on the train.
He noted that anyone “bold enough and brave enough” to get the bus will face an eight-hour journey – and pay €55 for their trouble.
In fact, he said the cheapest and easiest way to get to Dublin from Kerry this weekend is by plane.
Cllr Healy-Rae said the prices will just see people ‘taking to the road in their cars’ instead.
“It is much cheaper and much more convenient,” he said.
“I am going to the match on Sunday and if you gave me €100 I wouldn’t go on the train because it is not convenient - it is double the cost of what it will take me to drive in my car so why in God’s name would anyone get the train – never mind the bus because you would have to leave on Friday if you wanted to get there by Saturday.”
Bold and brave
Cllr Healy-Rae said anyone who tries to get the bus will likely miss the start of the match.
“If you were bold enough and brave enough to get the bus, you would have to leave Tralee at 8am and you would get to Cork, you would have to wait for two hours in Cork and then have a three hour and 45-minute journey from Cork to Dublin on the bus that will cost you €55 if my memory serves me right,” he said.
“It will take you a total of eight hours, you will be 15 minutes late into Dublin for the match and God knows how long it will take you to get from where the bus drops you off to Croke Park.”
He said the Transport Minister Eamon Ryan “should be embarrassed and ashamed” at the price of public transport in Ireland.
Also on the show, Iarnród Éireann spokesperson Barry Kenny said €85 was the most you can pay for Tralee to Dublin trip with cheaper deals available at other times of the year.
“In terms of our overall fares, you can get under €50 return at normal times,” he said. “You can get a family fare for two adults and up to four children for €105 for a day return, so that is six people.
“So, there are lots of good offers there but there isn’t a mode of transport on earth that offers discount lowest prices at the times when they are busy.”
He said GAA fans travel by train because they enjoy the experience.
“They like the mode of transport,” he said. “They like the comfort of being able to be on board and not worry about the congestion you are going to have on those roads this weekend or the chaos in terms of the search for parking.
“We will sell out this weekend much the same as we did last weekend for Cork against Limerick because it is part of people’s day out that they can relax, enjoy, plan for the match and reflect on it on the way back.”
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