Some commuters were also furious, criticising the delays caused and accusing protesters of “punishing” the city.
From 5am, vehicles were prevented by the public picket from leaving Bus Éireann’s depot in Capwell. The action was said to have impacted on approximately 2,000 commuters.
The protest was over changes to the 202 bus route to Mahon, which residents say leave sections of Skehard Road without service.
City councillor Chris O’Leary backed the group protesting at Capwell from 5am. The former lord mayor said the action was required as Bus Éireann failed to take previous correspondences on the issue seriously.
“This has been ongoing since June, since they changed the service, and without consultation with the local people,” he said. “We invited them to a public meeting last week to which nobody showed up.
“We had a protest on Friday on Skehard Road and, last Wednesday, we informed Bus Éireann that we would escalate unless Bus Éireann were serious and sit down with the people, meet the people, and negotiate with the people the reinstatement.”
The protest was called off at approximately 7.30am after the bus company agreed to a meeting between management and residents.
A Bus Éireann spokesperson said the company “does not condone such actions — which caused major inconvenience to our passengers — and for which we apologise. Disagreements can only be resolved through dialogue, and we are currently examining what might be done to possibly address some of the issues involved”.
A number of commuters took to social media to seek updates about arrival times. Some also aired frustration .
“Daughter misses hospital appointment, other daughter potentially late for JNR cert assessment. Screw the protest,” one Twitter user posted.
The action was also criticised on a Facebook page set up for the protest: “Because of your actions this morning, you caused delays on the entire city bus network resulting in people being late for work, appointments and college. No need to punish the whole city over a SMALL change to your local bus route,” one post read.