Six-year-old Darragh Walsh wrote to the rail company after reading, in his local newspaper, about the uncertainty surrounding the Sligo-to-Dublin train route.
The letter came to the company’s attention after a family member posted it on Twitter.
Irish Rail was so touched by Darragh’s concern it offered his family a free return journey to anywhere in the country.
The boy had written: “To Irish Rail, I seen on the Sligo Champion that you are closing the Dublin-to-Sligo train.
“Please don’t, because my mum wants to get to hospital to see the doctor. Please don’t close the train, From Darragh Walsh, age 6.”
Darragh’s letter came a week after Irish Rail warned that it was underfunded and that some routes may need to be cut, unless the shortfall was addressed.
“Darragh’s letter was a timely reminder that behind discussions, about funding the future of rail transport and infrastructure, are very human stories and realities,” a spokesperson for Irish Rail said.
“Lots of people, including Darragh’s mother, rely on our services for essential travel, including important hospital appointments.
“It was clear, from Darragh’s letter, that he is caring for, and looking after, his mother, while her hospital visits continue, so we thought that, along with his family, he would appreciate a train trip to anywhere in the country,” the spokesperson said.
“We’ve made contact and will set up the journey for whenever they choose to travel. We’re grateful Darragh took the time to write his excellent letter to us, and hope we’ve eased his worries about his Mam’s travel.”
The spokesperson said Darragh is not the only person to have aired their concern for the future of the rail network.
A national review of rail services found €600m was needed to meet the funding gap and cover losses at Irish Rail over the next five years.