Local people have voiced their anger and dismay at the closure of the Lough Swilly bus company as union lawyers prepare to meet with the 80 workers losing their jobs.
The Swilly bus services are due to roll into stations across Derry and Donegal for the last time on Saturday, marking the end of the 160-year-old company and a transport link which users have branded a life-line.
The ‘Journal’ spoke to those arriving and departing on Swilly services at Foyle Street bus depot yesterday. One frequent user of the service was 80-year-old Paddy Gallagher from Abbey House, Little Diamond in Derry.
Paddy said: “I use the bus every day to go down to Buncrana to get my dinner and go to the amusements. It takes me out for the day and breaks up the day. It is going to be a big loss.”
Delia McMonagle, originally from Clonmany but living in Buncrana, said:
“It’s absolutely disgusting. That bus was packed when it left Buncrana and there was a crowd of kids coming from the special needs centre going up to the Bowling Alley. They need that bus to take them out on day trips. What will they do now?
“It is a life-line for people going to their work or visiting Derry. How else do people get around if you don’t drive? Somebody will have to do something because they are really pulling the rug out from under people’s feet. “”
Helen McGinley from Derry meets her Inishowen friends off the bus when they visit the city every Wednesday and Saturday.
“It’s a disgrace”, she said. “Why are they doing this to the bus service? They are going backward instead of forward.”
More on page 9