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Service role is more important than profit

The debate on the merits or otherwise of the Fine Gael privatisation ideology regarding public transport has been inadvertently crystallised by Ewan Duffy.

Mr Duffy’s remarkable theory that Irish Rail are effectively stymieing future competition by scrapping 30-year-old coaches is perhaps best described as a tacit acceptance that profit is king and public transport standards should be allowed to slip back to a previous era (1980s) of Government underfunding.

Anecdotal evidence of the age profile of a significant number of the coaches trundling along the rural railway lines in the UK, a popular reference point for privatisation advocates, is a testament to profit before service and brings to mind that old adage of being “careful what you wish for”.

Dermot O’Leary

Asst General Secretary

National Bus and Rail Union

54 Parnell Square

Dublin 1


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