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Statement by Mr Paschal Donohoe TD Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport on Irish Rail’s announcement to implement pay proposals on 24th August

The need for cost reductions has been confirmed by the Labour Court who have found that the viability of Irish Rail depends on the implementation of these measures.  I note that Irish Rail have been trying to get agreement on cost saving measures for a very long time.

CIÉ is in a precarious financial situation and is dependent on continued bank funding.  Cost saving measures have already been agreed in Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus and savings also need to be made in Irish Rail. Irish Rail has incurred accumulated losses of over €147m in the past six years, a position which is unsustainable. There have already been substantial fare increases and the payroll savings must happen in the context of the very difficult financial challenges that the company faces.

It is quite clear to me that it is in everyone’s interest that these savings are achieved – not just in the interest of everyone who uses rail services but also in the long-term interest of everyone who works in Irish Rail.

I welcome the strong positive acceptance of the cost saving measures by a significant number of employees. It is disappointing that SIPTU recently rejected the cost saving proposals by a small margin and that NBRU are also opposed.  I would encourage all employees to reflect very carefully on the implications if Irish Rail is unable to secure its viability.