Marley meets HSE to discuss revised bus proposals

There’s been a glimmer of hope that the bus service that took outpatients from Donegal to Dublin could be restored.

Francis Marley, owner of the coach company in Cloghan, held a special meeting with a top HSE executive in Donegal this morning.

He presented a set of figures to show the service, stopped two weeks ago, could still operate if the HSE €100,000 subsidy was halved to around €50,000 and the shortfall made up by doubling users’ return
subsidised fares to €25.

After meeting Mr Marley today, HSE West Community Services Manager Kieran Doherty promised to look
through the revised figures with more senior executives and would report back
before September.

Coincidentally, the meeting was held on the exact day of the 20th anniversary of Stranorlar man Brendan McLaughlin’s lung transplant. Double-transplant patient Mr McLaughlin is a regular user of the bus along with mother.

The HSE has said that the five-day-a-week Marley service was cancelled after 35 years because there had been an increase in the number of public service buses on the Donegal to Dublin route, with
shorter journey times.

However, patients argue that because the public services don’t drop them off and pick them up at hospital front-doors, they would incur up to €100 extra daily in taxi and accomodation costs.