SIPTU has criticised comments made by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, indicating that funding maybe withdrawn from Irish Rail and directed into other transport companies. SIPTU Organiser, Paul Cullen, said: “The minister has on a number of occasions made clear his preference for forms of transport other than rail. In reality the cost base of rail transport in Ireland has risen because of additional expenditure on infrastructure and compliance with a number of new regulatory frameworks which have been imposed in recent years.” He added: “If the minister follows through with his threat to reduce funding this will result in a cash crisis in Irish Rail and lines will have to be closed. His comments come a week before the Labour Court will adjudicate on cost containment proposals proposed by the company and will only harden the attitude of staff in Irish Rail who have given everything since 2008 with nothing in return.”