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New bus service connecting Kinsale to city is victory for ‘people power’

November 23rd, 2022 11:30 PM

By Brian Moore

Marc Ó Riain (above) and Marian Caulfield set up an action group called ‘Fix the 226’ and said the new service is an example of people power. (Photo: Deborah Ni Riain)

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THE announcement of a new bus service for Kinsale has been described as an example of people power. 

Private bus company West Cork Connect announced that on January 9th it is to start its new 228 service to take pressure off the Bus Éireann 226 route. 

This new half-hour service will mean that for the first time there is a direct route from Kinsale, Belgooly, Riverstick, Ballygarvan and Ballinhassig to the universities, CUH and the city.

Green party representative Marc Ó Riain and local resident Marian Caulfield who had set up the action group ‘Fix the 226,’ said it was a massive win for the people of Kinsale.

‘This is a fantastic win and an example of people power,’ Marc told The Southern Star.

‘We would like to thank Damian Long and West Cork Connect for coming to the aid of the people of Kinsale, Belgooly, Riverstick, Ballygarvan and Ballinhassig.

‘Local councillors, Senator Tim Lombard and Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan TD have also made sure that the topic remained on the Senate and Dáil floors.’

The Bus Éireann 226 service has been under severe pressure in recent months due to  rising demands and reduced services which resulted in chaos at the newly located and unsheltered stop at Clontarf Street in the city and in Kinsale.

‘Commuters at all other stops simply saw the bus pass them full, as the single decker buses left hordes of intending passengers stranded in the pouring rain on a wet street in Cork, often for hours,’ said Marc. ‘In the last week Bus Éireann relented and put on a double decker on the 226 route addressing some of the capacity issues but still leaving some stranded at bus stops particularly at peak times,’ Marian added. 

Damien Long of West Cork Connect said he was delighted to announce the service. ‘This means extra buses and more employees for our company but the main thing is that the service that will be every hour on the half hour, and will finally provide a proper service for the people of Kinsale. It also means that Ballinhassig will have a bus service for the first time. 

‘This is a game changer for students and anyone travelling to CUH.’

Deputy Chrisopher O’Sullivan added: ‘The days of people being left behind on the bus route from Kinsale to Cork city and back should come to an end this January as West Cork Connect steps in to increase the frequency of busses serving the route and will be in addition to the Bus Éireann service.’

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