I'd like to make a gentle prediction that 90% of the people who will call for these lines not to be closed won't have actually travelled on them in the last 2 years.
Last Autumn we were visiting a friend in Waterford and took the train from Limerick. It was absolutely woeful. My wife nearly got sick from the ride of the train, and I was feeling fairly ropey too by the time we reached Waterford. It is difficult to describe the snail's pace that this train travels at -- it just feels sort of humiliating. There I was, someone who is generally in favour of rail transport, crawling along watching cars whizzing past on the N24, feeling rotten.
Haven't been between Waterford and Rosslare recently, but I assume it's the same. Went to Nenagh last year and that trip was also completely rotten.
Coming back from Waterford on the bus (it was a Sunday) was a much better experience. We even had a snooze -- not something you'd manage on the train unless you had serious narcoleptic tendencies! I can honestly say that anyone travelling from Limerick to Waterford would be better off getting the bus -- even if there wasn't an interminable wait at the Junction.
CIE/IE have been trying to close these lines for over 30 years. Have a look back at the Oireachtas archive and you'll see countless arguments against their closure.
Those arguments have won the day, for now. But keeping railway lines open because they look good on the map isn't helping anyone if the service is slow, uncomfortable and depressing.
Having said that, the best thing that IE could have done for these train lines is leak that they want to close them. Because that's the only time they ever get discussed. Who knows, one of these days we'll move beyond "don't close" and have a real discussion in this country about what we want those lines on a map to be for.
PS Plumb Loco - your response seems a little over the top there -- all Thomas Stamp was doing was commenting on how IE have been wilfully trying to close the line through poor service -- the same criticism that I presume you would make yourself...