Pensioners to get free rail passes
Pensioners visiting Ireland can now travel free of charge on the railways, tourism chiefs said.
In an extension of the existing scheme for citizens aged 66 and over, travellers from overseas can take advantage of special four-day passes.
The so-called Golden Trekker tickets will allow unrestricted rail travel for the set period in a move to boost visitor numbers among older people.
Redmond O'Donoghue, chairman of Failte Ireland, said the international extension was a very encouraging and constructive development.
"It will help strengthen the appeal of Ireland amongst some visitors and Failte Ireland believes it will pay dividends to Irish tourism, longer-term," he said.
"Our experience of working with Iarnrod Eireann on putting this scheme in place has been a very positive one and we would like to acknowledge their help and active support in helping to finalise arrangements in time for this year's tourist season."
The four-day Trekker tickets - which would be worth 100 euro - can be booked by visitors aged 66 and over on the internet or through a special telephone hotline.
Dick Fearn, chief executive of Iarnrod Eireann, said there is no restriction on nationality or country of residence.
"As well as providing tourists with rail travel facilities, they will also benefit from the unique perspective our network gives of the beautiful Irish countryside," he said.