Ballymun Sinn Fein members along with Dessie Ellis TD took part in a community protest against cuts to Dublin Bus routes in Dublin North West last Thu 1/9/11. Several local people affected by the drastic bus cuts, along with People Before Profit & SF attended the demo.
“Some of the older and disabled people in Coultry, Shangan & Sillogue are virtually prisoners in their homes now as a result of the cuts or discontinuation of the service they previously relied on” Ballymun Sinn Féin activist Noeleen Reilly said. “This will be particularly felt in the cold, dark winter nights & early mornings.”
Noeleen addad: “we are worried about children, many of whom attend schools outside the area. They would have to walk in the wet and dark winter nights from the bus stop on the main road to Poppintree and to the back of the Coultry estate.
“They are only cutting these things to feed the greedy, incompetent bankers” Ms Reilly said; “three-quarters of the population in the working-class area of Ballymun are dependent on buses. A lot of older people feel they are going to lose their independence. They are going to be isolated in their homes if their bus is taken away.”
Under Dublin Bus’s €12 million cuts plan, entitled ‘Network Direct’, routes were “straightened out” to operate on the most “efficient” from the suburbs to the city centre.
Thursday’s protest by residents from a number of communities along with Sinn Féin and People Before profit was aimed to stop phase two of ‘Network Direct’ which is planned to take place over the coming months with further streamlining of routes.
Dessie Ellis TD said that the cuts to Dublin Bus were all part of what she labelled as misguided government policy.
“This is about investment; you can’t cut your way out a recession because the more you cut the more you deflate the economy”
“The issues of productivity need to be raised but you don’t cut frontline services and you don’t deliberately put more workers out of jobs” Dessie added.