‘Nothing beats being there’ but Limerick hurling fans struggle with transport links

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Support call: John Cregan

Support call: John Cregan Picture: Keith Wiseman

WHILE the GAA’s mantra is ‘nothing beats being there’, many Limerick fans may miss the excitement in Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh this weekend.

This comes after it emerged there are no trains back from Leeside departing after the full-time whistle of Limerick’s Senior Hurling Championship clash with Cork – and only one bus service leaving just only a short time after the game ends.

Up to 10,000 Limerick fans are set to make the journey to see John Kiely’s exciting young side take on the Rebel County in the newly re-opened Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday.

But many may be stranded in Cork, after Croke Park bosses moved the game to a 7pm throw in so it can be broadcast by Sky Sports.

Irish Rail, Citylink and Bus Eireann, who all operate services on the Cork-Limerick corridor have all ruled out adding special services.

Limerick GAA chairman John Cregan has urged Irish Rail to do just this, saying: “We always ask people to use public transport – this is an example of where people would use it to travel to a game.”

But a spokesperson for the rail firm said due to the fact there are a number of other events around the country, including the Bloom festival in Dublin, “we are not in a position to operate extra services after the game.”

Irish Rail’s last Limerick service from Cork’s Kent Station departs at 8.25pm, while its final service to Charleville leaves even earlier, at 6.25pm.

Bus Eireann’s final service of the day leaves Parnell Place for Charleville and Limerick at 8.55pm – but with Cork’s stadium a 30 minute walk from the centre, making this connection will prove tough.

Citylink’s final service is at 7pm.

Despite travel problems, Mr Cregan still believes Limerick fans will travel in numbers in the hope Limerick can follow up on their stunning win over Tipperary last time out.

“We hugely appreciate the support. You often hear the players mentioning they pick up on the support level on the pitch. They pick up a great boost from it, and it wills them on. There is no better support in the country,” he says, “Cork will have a big support in their own back yard. They are going well too. So support from our fans is vital.”

The Limerick team will be announced on Thursday night. ​

Tickets remain on sale for Saturday night’s match, from Centra and Supervalu branches, and online at www.tickets.ie. Buying before game day will save you €5.

For an in depth preview of Limerick’s match this weekend, see LeaderSport.