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  • Northside West

Anger over papal road closures

Thursday, 23rd August, 2018 8:00am
Anger over papal road closures
Anger over papal road closures

A Dublin West election candidate has described planned road closures for the Pope’s visit to Dublin as “ludicrous overkill”.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) and An Gardaí Síochána have outlined a comprehensive transportation plan and road closure system for the Papal visit on Saturday and Sunday, August 25 & 26.

There will be rolling restrictions across Dublin on the Saturday as Pope Francis criss-crosses the city on the first day of his visit.

On the Saturday the pope visits Áras an Uachtaráin, Dublin Castle, St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral on Marlborough Street, the Capuchin Day Centre on Bow Street and Croke Park for the Festival of Families.

Sunday, August 25, will see a secure area around the city, starting at the M50, from 6am-11pm. There will be multiple diversions, road closures and other restrictions and those hoping to attend the Phoenix Park mass are being advised to leave the car at home.

“This is the largest event Ireland has organised in nearly 40 years,” said Garda Superintendent Thomas Murphy.

“It simply will not be possible to accommodate all the people who have indicated they want to travel by car to the mass. Therefore we are urging people to go by train, bus, coach or Luas to this event.

“While walking is inevitable, you will be minimising your walk to and from the event by taking public transport or private coaches.”

Social Democrats candidate for Dublin West, Aengus Ó Maoláin, says the road closures on the Sunday will particularly affect residents in Dublin 15 and Dublin 7, with roads as far away as Lucan and Blanchardstown expected to be closed.

“Ashtown, Cabra, Navan Road, Castleknock, Laurel Lodge, Carpenterstown and Porterstown are going to be effectively cut off from the rest of Dublin for the Pope's visit if the OPW's road closures plan for August 26 are allowed to go ahead," said Mr Ó Maoláin.

"It will be near impossible for residents to travel to other parts of the city with the proposed road closures.

People have been telling me that they feel the proposal is totally over the top, particularly for the many people in the area who have no interest in the Papal Mass.”

Ó Maoláin added: “This part of Dublin is lamentably accustomed to excessive road closures around the Phoenix Park during concerts but this proposal is an order of magnitude more extreme than usual and will lead to huge confusion and frustration."

The NTA has put in place a transport plan for the visit and is providing free public transport to those with a ticket for the Phoenix Park mass.

Iarnród Éireann will provide capacity for up to 250,000 journeys across Intercity, DART and commuter services while Dublin Bus has created seven dedicated Papal transport hubs which will take almost 1,000 buses close to the Phoenix Park gates.

The Luas Red and Green lines will be operating a 6-10 minute frequency throughout the Sunday with a stop operating at Leopardstown Racecourse for the first time.

Special Park & Ride hubs will be in place at Leopardstown Racecourse (Luas), UCD Belfield (Dublin Bus), Maynooth University (train) and Fairyhouse Racecourse (train).

Go-Ahead Ireland is also providing40 double deck shuttle buses to help with transport for the Papal Mass.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here