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Fears rail works could throw Armagh fans’ Croke Park final travel plans into chaos

There have been calls for works to be 'carried out during off-peak travel times to minimise inconvenience for fans' and for 'provisional of additional trains on match day'

Ongoing railway works could impact Armagh GAA fans’ plans to attend “highly-anticipated NFL finals at Croke Park” over the Easter weekend, it has been claimed.

And Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd has been urged to act and do what he can to intervene

Sinn Féin Councillor Catherine Nelson has written Minister John O’Dowd, asking him to “address concerns surrounding transportation for tens of thousands of Armagh fans planning to attend” the Dublin fixtures.

In a letter addressed to her party colleague and Upper Bann MLA, Councillor Nelson highlighted the “potential impact of ongoing railway works, particularly between Lurgan and Portadown, on the travel arrangements of Armagh supporters”.

And expressing concerns about the current train timetable’s ability to accommodate the surge in demand, she urged for “swift action to mitigate disruptions.”

Said Councillor Nelson said: “I have asked that Minister O’Dowd to engage with officials at Translink to assess the possibility of rescheduling works or, indeed, to ensure they are carried out during off-peak travel times to minimise inconvenience for fans.

“I would also call for the provision of additional trains on match day.”

Meanwhile, former Armagh player and current SDLP MLA, Justin McNulty, added: “GAA fans need additional trains to get them to and from Croke Park next weekend. I have written to the Infrastructure Minister on this issue, and I met with Translink officials in Newry this week.

“It’s unacceptable that there is a train line closure scheduled for match days, which is going to interrupt services between Belfast and Portadown.

“There will be a tremendous movement of people from across the North, with fans from Derry, Armagh, and hopefully Down making their way to Croke Park. Unless the planned train line closure is postponed, it is going to create travel headaches for supporters, and ultimately lead to massive congestion on our roads.

“I am calling on John O’Dowd to do the right thing and use his power to postpone the line closures and to add additional train services to facilitate the smooth transit of Ulster Gaels to Dublin.”

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