Garryowen residents waiting so long at the ‘invisible bus stop’

John Nugent (left) and Helena Kelly (right) with members of the Garryowen Residents Association.

TO PARAPHRASE the Genesis hit, they seem to have an invisible bus stop and they’ve been waiting, waiting so long.

But there was nothing invisible about Garryowen residents this past week when they took to the street to protest the impact the lack of an established bus transport service is having on the community.

Garryowen Residents Association chairperson John Nugent told the Limerick Post that the protest “was held to highlight the ongoing saga of what’s referred to locally as ‘our invisible bus stops'”.

A statement was issued by Helena Kelly, advocate for Sustainable Development Goals and global citizen educator with Saolta, who said that “immediate attention is needed in the Garryowen district”.

Ms Kelly said the lack of a local stop is having  “a detrimental effect on the young, those working, the disabled, and the elderly” in the local community.

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“Without basic amenities and bus service, education, work, and social events are beyond reach –  unnecessarily contributing to the pathways of inequalities across the city and significantly reducing opportunities.

“The National Transport Authority (NTA) and local government need to act now and assign the justified funding to meet all the community requirements urgently.

“Its imperative that the implementation of bus shelters, scheduled bus signage, and bus routes can accommodate the most vulnerable in our marginalised communities,” Ms Kelly said.

Mr Nugent, the Garryowen Residents Association chairperson, added that community leaders have been corresponding with the the NTA over a long period of time “but as yet we’re no closer to a resolution”.

“The stop at Saint John’s Hospital is of particular concern. Patients and visitors, sometimes at their lowest ebb, wishing to avail of public transport have no timetable to refer to and no shelter.

“One person remarked that Garryowen always seems to be the poor cousin when it comes to any type of public service. Unfortunately there’s a lot of truth in that statement.

“All over the city we have seen upgrades to various services, but in our community we seem to be caught in a tale of two cities type scenario, this is something we must challenge,” Mr Nugent concluded.