Special connecting train to Derry just announced for All-Ireland semi-finals

Translink have announced today (Wednesday) that they will now provide a train service to bring Derry GAA fans home after the All-Ireland semi-finals on Saturday, July 9.

This comes after backlash from the public and campaign group Into the West when it was announced that the special service for the All-Ireland semi-final, where Derry plays Galway, would start and end in Belfast. The train would have arrived in Belfast two hours after the final train left for Derry but todays announcement means fans travelling by rail will get a connecting train home.

A Translink spokesperson said: “We are operating a number of transport options to the GAA all Ireland football semi-final in Dublin on Saturday.

“There are coach specials leaving Foyle Street in Derry, Dungiven and Maghera to Dublin.

GOAL: Benny Heron's crucial first goal opened the Croke Park floodgates as Derry cruised into the All Ireland semi-final. (Photo: George Sweeney)

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“A rail special is also running from Belfast to Dublin (return) with connections off scheduled rail services to connect with this special and capacity on these is being enhanced to cater for the expected increase in demand.

“We have been monitoring the bookings for this rail special and can now confirm we will operate a train service to Derry to connect with the special from Dublin for the return journey.

“This is an exceptionally busy holiday weekend. Many people are taking holidays using cross-border services and we are also committed to operating additional special coach and train services to concerts in Dublin. As such, we are operating at maximum capacity of the timetable and infrastructure we have available.

“Many of these special services are now sold out and so anyone travelling this weekend cross-border should ensure they pre-book their ticket to travel”.

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Derry captain Christopher McKaigue lifts the trophy after his side's victory in the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Final between Derry and Donegal at St Tiernach's Park in Clones, Monaghan, which booked a place in the All-Ireland Senior Football Quarter-Finals.