A PROTEST regarding the poor state of Shannon bus services was held at the Town Park recently with the promise of more demonstrations to come.
Speaking on the day Shane Doody, chairman of Ógra Sinn Féin for Clare said, “Today we are here to voice our anger and our frustration towards Bus Éireann. For far, far too long now, we have been ignored and utterly disregarded both as a community and as customers.”
While there have been more complaints about the bus service over the last few months, he says it has never been good enough.
“If we are being honest with ourselves, has our bus service ever been fully functional?
“For years now we have been struggling with a second tier bus service that is inefficient and unequipped to manage Shannon’s ever growing population – with which Bus Éireann have failed to keep up.
“It is high time now that Shannon is equipped with a competent bus service that actually works for the customers that it exists to serve.”
He said that the poor quality of the service is having a negative impact on local people.
“I’d like to share a heart breaking story with ye from one third year student nurse who told us that she had to cancel her six week placement in Barrington’s, due purely to the unreliability of the 343 line.
“This nurse, who prioritises her patients above all, is being shamefully let down by our State organisations. This nurse, who works tirelessly for staggeringly long hours, often without pay, is literally being left behind, left stranded without transportation.
“This nurse represents many, many hard working people in our community who are simply trying to do an honest day’s work, so they can make ends meet in these times of scarcity.”
He was very critical of Bus Éireann.
“So, we must ask, Bus Éireann, what, then, is the point of you?
“We want Bus Éireann to understand that this is affecting real people. Many real people. The impact that the service is having on our young, vulnerable and working classes is profoundly unfair.
“After all, isn’t it reasonable for us here in the first world to expect a first world fundamental service?”
He said that while the problems are very apparent, there is no sign of a response.
“What baffles me is, if they themselves are aware of the issues, why are we yet to see any sort of action on this matter?
“And so, if bad press and public pressures incentivises and yes, even shames this failing public service to start delivering competency and efficiency, then I say let’s keep this up.
“Let’s keep the pressure on them and let Bus Éireann know that we will not stop until we have not only the bus service we need, but the bus service we deserve,” he concluded
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.