SINN Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada is urging people to attend a public meeting on the importance of protecting public transport services next week.
The Ireland South MEP is holding the meeting, Save Our Public Bus Services – Keep County Cork Connected, in the Castle Hotel in Macroom, at 7.30pm on Thursday, March 16th. In the wake of the announcement of the cancellation of the X7 Clonmel to Dublin route, Ms Ní Riada said it was crucial that Irish people stand up to defend their public services to ensure further cuts don’t happen.
‘Across Europe attempts are being made to undermine public services, including publicly-owned and operated transport services,’ she said. ‘In Ireland a policy of creeping privatisation and underfunding have hampered Bus Éireann.
‘The result of this is attacks on workers and the recent announcement of route closures, which may in time include the Expressway number 40 route which connects the people of North West Cork with Killarney, Tralee and Cork. People living outside of our cities and big towns cannot be left stranded due to these cuts.
‘Hundreds of thousands of individuals across Ireland depend on these services to get to school, college or work, to access health services, or to stay connected,’ the Ireland South MEP explained.
The network of intercity and regional services is especially important to people living in rural Ireland and in our small towns, she said.
‘I have raised this issue in Europe and, alongside my colleagues on Cork County Council, have called on the NTA, the Minister for Transport, and on Bus Éireann management to defend access to vital services,’ she said.