The necessity of travelling incognito in Ireland

Yes, when you’re a pet dog on an Irish train.

We have heard how the Irish trains in NI are really undecided what they agree. In some cases dogs of certain size are allowed, in some instances, no dogs are allowed on board, or they have to be crated and muzzled and small – very confusing. Well, we thought that was in the north.

As it so happened, it’s the same in Ireland.

Mummy had called to make the train reservation for our trip from Dublin to Galway – and was very clear what the restrictions were. But we were stopped as we walked into the station. The manager told us I wasn’t allowed on.  I knew I was being discussed, so I stayed calm and looked smart in my Bertie Waxed Jacket while Mummy and Wendeline rationalised with her. Long story short – she said she would let me on but we may have problems coming back from Galway.

Mummy was about to deliberate the matter when Wendeline sensibly stepped in and took the offer. We got on.IMG_8412

I wanted to sit on the seat on Mummy’s coat but she said no! I was confused. IMG_8416But I did manage to jump on when she wasn’t looking. As I was wearing my waxed jacket, it blended with hers and I looked camouflaged.IMG_8419 She decided to let me stay and we put Wendeline’s hat on my head.

So I stayed that way the whole 3 hour train ride – in hiding.IMG_8422

May’s comment: Well, it was unexpected. I had read so much about dogs on trains in Northern Ireland but did not hear much about Ireland.

I told the station manager that I had specifically asked about bringing Darcy on board – and the person on the phone told me as long as she can sit on my lap – and cannot be on the floor. I said – that’s how she travels anyway. And there was no mention of having to pay for her travels.

I had also asked the hotel where we will be saying if they know if dogs are allowed on trains – they researched it and had sent me a link with the specifications (must look up that email) – which said yes, they are allowed.

We walked into the situation that I’ve read about – thankfully Wendeline was more removed from the emotional aspect of the discussion and we managed to get Darcy on board this train.

So when we get to Galway, we will have to ask the station manager for permission before we travel back on Wednesday.

The station manager also asked if I had paid for her – surely if she thinks I can buy her a ticket so there must be somewhere that dogs are allowed on board.  She confirmed that the Irish train passengers do not like dogs. Well I know a large number of Irish dog owners who are battling that opinion.

I was about to take out my iPhone to take a photo of the station manager – but thought better of it.

In all our travels in the UK and all our travels in Europe, we’ve never encountered this.  There were individual taxis or car services that wouldn’t take dogs but not an entire entity such as the Irish Rail to impose such restrictions on pet travel.




  1. Maggie Danks

    That is just so wrong May! How can they tell you one thing then something entirely different ?? I took Maggie on a bus once and had her on my lap when the driver came up the bus and very rudely told me to get her off the seat. I quite calmly pointed out that she was on my lap and was cleaner than some of the kids on board. He did not relent and I became the Glaswegian harpie you see so often on the TV! i wasn’t very calm then!

  2. Aisling Keogh

    This is typical of Ireland, we have struggled for 2 years since we got Mylo to find things to do with him. The Twelve hotel in Galway is very dog friendly.Dog friendly places are few are far between in Ireland.

  3. Alison Mullett

    How frustrating! Ireland needs to move into the 21st century
    Is there an EU ruling????

    • Miss Darcy

      Hi Alison – don’t know – ether’s a Dog Lovers NI Group who might know. Will ask.

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