At Iarnród Éireann, customers are the heart of the business. Ireland’s public service railway operates 4,915 services weekly, carrying almost one million customers. It brings people to work, to school, to appointments, to shop, to attend events and to meet friends and family. 


Iarnród Éireann services connect and are connected to the communities they serve. The company employs over 4,000 people in a wide range of disciplines all around Ireland, from drivers to customer service officers, to engineers to craft workers.

The rail network is currently growing and major capital investment projects are underway, such as DART+, Cork Commuter Rail and the new National Train Control Centre. These projects will bring sustainable, frequent and efficient train services to existing and new communities. Sustainability is a key pillar of Iarnród Éireann operations, with the organisation committed to working hard on all aspects from biodiversity to diversity and inclusion.

It is a company that promotes hard work and individuality and provides great opportunities for progression. An example being the current Iarnród Éireann CEO, Jim Meade, who started his career at the company as an apprentice fitter.

SIPTU NEC member, Iarnród Éireann worker director and train driver, Tommy Wynne, said: “It is to be welcomed that Iarnród Éireann has joined the Supporting Quality campaign. Over the years, the company has changed with the times and is a progressive employer which has always recognised unions and the benefits for everyone of effective unionised collective bargaining.

“It currently employs approximately 1,800 SIPTU members, a figure which has grown in recent years and we hope will continue to grow into the future. The progressive nature of the company was clear from the findings of its gender pay gap audit, which was slightly in favour of women workers.”

He added: “I have worked for Iarnród Éireann for 29 years. During that time there, has been an, ever increasing, focus on passenger and worker safety as well as new engagement with sustainability. This has seen investment by the National Transport Agency in new hybrid and electrical trains.”

He added: “People are realising that the railways are the transport of the future rather than the past due to their benefits for communities and the environment.”

SIPTU National Rail Committee chairman, Gary Blake, said: “Workers in Iarnród Éireann have always placed a high emphasis on providing a quality, customer focused services while also ensuring the company provides good, rewarding workplaces. It is only fitting that we are now part of the Supporting Quality campaign which shares those values with us.”

 By Scott Millar

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This first appeared in SIPTU Liberty February 2023.