Seanad debates

Tuesday, 9 July 2024

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

1:00 pm

Photo of Mark WallMark Wall (Labour)

I add my name to the condolences on the late John O'Mahony. Unfortunately, John and his Galway team broke our hearts in 1998 and again in 2000 with his Galway team and the lilywhites defeat in that All-Ireland of 1998. I cannot share the view with the Senator Carrigy that that was a good day. Unfortunately, it was not a good day but out of that we gained a lot of respect for John O'Mahony as a GAA coach and that has to be mentioned today. I send my condolences and those of the Labour Party to Gerardine and John's family. He was a great Gael. I send sympathy as well to the Fine Gael Party.

The other issue I wish to bring up today has been raised by all the representatives in County Kildare, namely, that of the train fares in the Dublin commuter zone. We all attended a briefing a number of weeks ago with the NTA, that informed us that in quarter 3, that is, September of this year, we would get a reduction in train fares through Newbridge and Kildare. This is a campaign the Newbridge Labour Party started in 2018. Its members gathered 8,000 signatures and met a number of different organisations, including the NTA, over that particular year. They handed that petition in to the NTA and started and continued that campaign. It was taken up by the Newbridge development association probably in the last two years. I pay tribute again, as I have done every time I have raised this issue in this House, to Jennifer Caffrey who has highlighted this at every stage and has garnered another 1,500 to 2,000 signatures. What we were told only yesterday is that the changes in train fares are now not going to happen until 2025, which is totally and utterly unacceptable. Like other colleagues, I would like to see the Minister for Transport come before us. We have had promises upon promises. This campaign has been going an awfully long time. I have met the NTA with Labour Party colleagues. I have met representatives from the NTA individually and in Buswells Hotel at the latest briefing. We had all been told that this was good news and yesterday was a dark day for all those commuters who, as we said before, are paying up to €300 more than their colleagues in Sallins when trying to get into Dublin to work. Can we ask the Minister to come before us? We need to ensure this is brought before this House as quickly as possible. Those hard-pressed commuters need help and they need it urgently.

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