Yes this could be a very valuable connecting line between East and west one of the few and extending to Limerick and onto Galway and with ambition onto Sligo via the western rail corridor. The running down of the service is a template that is applied to justify a line closure at some point. First the service is allowed decline, then the passenger numbers fall and then it is pointed out that the line is unused at which point the case is made for closing. This was the formula used to close a similar line further south between Mallow and Waterford.
Unless locals demand a proper service and use the railway then the low passenger numbers will eventually lead to closure because of an absence of public goodwill towards the line. Waterford Ferrybank port is an important container terminal so the line could easily shift road freight containers onto rail to Waterford via the Clonmel route.