Join Cork protest for workers rights and rural Ireland - Ní Riada
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada is encouraging people to attend a protest in Cork City against public transport cuts.
The Ireland South MEP said it was essential that people voice their opposition to plans to leave huge swathes of the county stranded.
"The cuts to services that are planned will affect not just county Cork but all of rural Ireland," she said.
“Hundreds of thousands of individuals across Ireland depend on these services to get to school, college or work, to access health services, or to stay connected. The network of intercity and regional services is especially important to people living in rural Ireland and in our small towns.
"There can be no doubt that such cuts would lead to a huge increase in rural isolation, particularly among our older population.
"Public transport should not be a profit driven business; it is a service that the government has a duty to provide, particularly given their utterly ineffectual approach to limiting the costs of thinks like rent and car insurance.
“I have called on the Minister and on Bus Éireann management to confirm that services such as the No. 40 Route between Rosslare and Killarney (servicing Youghal, Midleton, Macroom, Baile Mhic Íre, Baile Bhuirne and Glenflesk) and the No. 51 Route between Cork and Galway (servicing Mallow, Buttevant, Ballyhea and Charleville) will not be discontinued but their responses have been far from reassuring.
"These bus services are vital for people living in towns throughout County Cork and their surrounding areas. I am also concerned that the already limited services to Ballycotton, Bandon, Fermoy, Mallow, Skibbereen and Whitegate could come under threat.
"If the government and management of Bus Éireann are to get the message that these services are vital then people must come out and say that loud and clear to them.
"Join us on Friday from 1pm to 2pm at the Cork University Hospital and Wilton Shopping Centre crossing where we will stand against these cuts and stand in solidarity with the Bus Éireann workers, who are not only standing up for their own rights and livelihoods but for the rights of rural Ireland."