The absence of a waiting room and toilet facilities at the railway station in Clonmel has been blasted as shameful by South Tipperary county councillors.
On Monday the councillors demanded the presence of Iarnrod Eireann and Bus Eireann at a meeting to explain why the doors to the railway station are padlocked and the elderly have to wait in the freezing cold outside the building for buses and trains.
The meeting was told about a busload of American tourists who stopped at the station recently and found no toilet facilities. A businessman opposite the station came to their rescue and made his single toilet available as the forty Americans queued up to use the toilet.
Angry council members demanded that representatives of Iarnrod Eireann and Bus Eireann attend a meeting of the council to explain the ‘unacceptable’ situation.
They unanimously supported a motion tabled by Cllr. Michael Murphy calling for toilet facilities to be reinstated at the station as a matter of urgency.
“This is an absolute fiasco” said Cllr.Murphy and a solution had to be found so that the elderly and members of the public did not have to stand outside the station in all weathers to wait for trains and buses. A commercial cafe when open at least gave people access to a waiting area and a toilet but it was not sustainable even though the rent was low.
“It is disgraceful that elderly people have to stand outside in the cold with no access to a toilet or a waiting room. A solution has to be found,” said Cllr. Murphy.
Cllr. Darren Ryan said the railway and bus companies should not be expecting a private venture to bail them out from their responsibility to ensure proper services were provided for their own customers.
“It is an appalling situation that has been tolerated for far too long,” said Cllr. Ryan.
Cllr. Richie Molloy said it was wrong that people arriving in Clonmel on a bus and a train were relying on business people across the road for basic facilities.
“How do they expect people to get back to using the train services when this situation is allowed continue in Clonmel,” he said.
Cllr. Pat English said the situation had been going on for years.
“We need to get people responsible for the operation of Clonmel Railway Station before us for a meeting and get them to explain the situation. This is a busy bus and rail station and it is shameful that the very basic facilities are not provided,” he said.
The members instructed officials to write to the two companies and to contact them by phone to ask them to attend a meeting of the council.
Whilst your at it Councillors why not demand that Iarnród Éireann provide a proper/frequent train service to and from Limerick Junction. The people I talk to in Clonmel (which is my home town), Cahir, Tipp and Carrick not only want but need a decent train service. The councilors there do nothing about it, they make no representations at any of the town/borough/county council meetings. The TD's there avoid the issue.
I don't believe the Nenagh line can ever be saved and very soon it will be closed. But I do admire the effort and hard work the NRP have done to stop it from been closed, course it helps to have a Minister of State from the DOT in your constituency. This is exactly what Clonmel needs.
Alan Kelly who will be trying to get re-elected in 2016 in a unified Tipperary. If he wants South Tipperary votes my advice to him would be to put pressure on IÉ to improve services on this line.
Big changes happening in 2014. Tipperary as one county will be a 5 seat constituency with the area above Nenagh (Lower Ormond) becoming part of the South Offaly constituency. Nearly everyone who voted for him comes from that part of North Tipperary so unless he can get a number of votes in the Thurles/Templemore area (not likely Michael Lowry get nearly all the votes in Thurles, Noel Coonan Roscrea/Templemore) he will be needing votes from areas in South Tipperary.