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Dublin: 18°C Saturday 25 September 2021

Not driving home for Christmas? Here's all you need to know about public transport instead

Here’s what you need to know if you’re going to be using public transport this festive season.

Image: Brian Lawless/PA Images

IT’S COMING TO that time of year when there’s a mass exodus from big towns and cities as people travel home for Christmas time.

From Ballyfermot to Bantry, from Drumshambo to Drogheda, and from Lifford to Leixlip, here’s what you need to know if you’re taking public transport over the next few weeks.

Irish Rail

First of all, it’s important to note that there will be no Irish Rail services on Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day.

There are heavily adjusted services on Christmas Eve, and subsequent days, also.

A normal Sunday service will operate on most routes Christmas Eve, with a number of cancellations.

The full list can be found here, but here are a few of them:

  • 9pm Heuston to Cork is cancelled.
  • 2.01pm, 4.02pm, 6.01pm, 6.39pm, 7.01pm and 8.01pm Kildare to Heuston services are all cancelled.
  • 3.25pm, 6.25pm, 7.25pm and 9.10pm Heuston to Limerick trains are cancelled. Going in the opposite direction, the 4.20pm and 6.20pm are cancelled, as are a number of Limerick/Ennis services.
  • The 8.30pm Heuston to Galway is cancelled, as is the 5pm train in the opposite direction.

There are also a number of alterations on 27 December.

irish rail 27 december Source: Irish Rail

The timetable for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day can be found here.

Bus Éireann

Bus Éireann is laying on some extra services over the festive season, with buses running every day except Christmas Day. Most services will operate standard timetables with a few exceptions.

Additional late night services in the east will include Dublin to Balbriggan, Drogheda, Naas, Newbridge, Sallins and Clane over the Christmas period.

A 24-hour service will also operate on the 109A: Kells – Navan – Dunshaughlin – Ratoath – Ashbourne – Dublin Airport – Dublin City Centre.

In Cork, additional late night services will run this Friday and Saturday evening. These will depart each night at 1am, 2am and 3am from St Patrick Street in the city to Douglas, Carrigaline, Ballincollig, Blarney and Midleton.

On Christmas Eve, all city and commuter/rural services nationwide will operate up until approximately 9pm.

City and commuter services will operate to a Sunday timetable on both Stephen’s Day and New Years Day, while a full timetable schedule will operate from 27 to 30 December.

Expressway inter-city services will operate every day, except for Christmas Day, and modified timetables can be found here.

Dublin Bus

Again, Christmas Day is the only day that there are no Dublin Bus services.

This Saturday 23 December will operate a normal service, with the exception of the Ghostbus Tour and the Coastal Tours which will not operate.

Christmas Eve will operate a Sunday service with additional departures, but the last buses will depart at approximately 9pm that evening.

A Sunday service will operate on Stephen’s Day, while Saturday services will be in place on Wednesday 27, Thursday 28, Friday 29 and Saturday 30 December.

Nitelinks will operate on that Friday and Saturday as normal.

A Sunday service will be in operation on New Year’s Eve, with last departures at around 10pm.

Nitelinks will operate as per the normal weekend service.

New Year’s Day will also operate a Sunday service.


Again, there’s no service on Christmas Day.

On Christmas Eve, services will end at 8pm. On Stephen’s Day, a Sunday schedule will be in operation with the first tram at 9am.

A Saturday schedule will be in operation from 27 to 30 December, with Sunday schedules in place for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

There are also a number of late night services being operated by the Luas over the Christmas period. The Night Luas costs €4 with a Leap card, or €5 for a normal ticket. It can be used with annual, monthly or 30 day tickets.

luas christmas 1 Source: Luas

luas christmas 2 Source: Luas

luas christmas 3 Source: Luas

Read: This Christmas market is asking locals to bring elderly neighbours along to enjoy the festive fun

Read: Late-night trains and Darts begin from today for the festive season

About the author:

Sean Murray

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