The President of ICMSA has criticised the ending of several rural bus services and said resentment is building rapidly in rural areas at what he called the relentless and intensive stripping-out of services that had taken several decades to put in place. John Comer said that it was deeply ironic to hear so much concern and official commentary about the need for ‘connectivity’ and the supreme importance of retaining state control of access to and from Ireland while at the same time as a state transport agency simply announces – without a word of consultation or warning – that it is ending bus links to Dublin from several rural towns where that bus service was the only public transport option. “It’s as if the State simply turns around to a whole community and announces ‘there you go now lads, you’re on your own from here onwards’. People feel abandoned. The need for ’Connectivity’ doesn’t end at city boundaries”, said Mr Comer.
The ICMSA President said that it now seemed that rural populations were expected to sit quietly and simply accept the disappearance of their state transport facilities in the same way as their schools, post offices, Garda stations and district departmental and veterinary offices had already steadily disappeared.
He said that aside from the inhibiting effect this policy was having on any prospect of economic investment it was hugely demoralising for the residents of rural communities to witness this ill-considered and short-sighted withdrawal of the State from swathes of the country and he urged the Government to re-commit to an Ireland based on some semblance of state services for all the people.
Ends 23 February 2015.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office