The Longford / Sligo thing is probably because numbers fall off so dramatically beyond Longford and a bus would probably easily manage the load.
In this like so many things, it would make a real difference to the Sligo service, if Bus Eireann and Irish Rail services were integrated so that you could use the return part of a rail ticket on a bus. This would basically cost nothing and would make the service significantly better.
For bonus points, they could have the later busses stop somewhat near the railway stations so people didn't have to walk a mile in the pouring rain in the middle of the night to get their cars from the carpark.
Numbers may fall however that's not the reason they are not operating. The issue here is the half baked special services which Irish Rail operate.
Services scheduled less than 3 weeks before concert, you know when 90% of people have decided to book hotels almost immediately they secure tickets. So they expect people to not make plans until they decide to maybe provide a service.
If they were to provide a service on any route other than regular Cork/Galway they would not advertise it as people at this stage do not expect them to provide such services on other routes so why would they even bother checking.
I don't buy "no demand" for a second, there is always demand if people know about it. I will accept there will be some events where this is correct but for a concert in Croke Park there is demand.
Translink announced additional rail/bus services on 22nd February for this weekend.
So can we all see the problem here, one company is prepared and accommodating to customers while the other is well lazy and unprepared to make such services work.
Beyonce and Rihanna will be the test to see if anything happens and this two gigs specifically should be a lot more appealing to train users prehaps more so than this weekends given they would attract a lot more younger people. Translink announced there special services on 22nd Feb and 5th Feb respectively.
If they even worked with ticketmaster to advertise such services during sale of tickets it would help a lot or even if possible get locations where most tickets have been sold etc.
I really fail to see what's changed since they were prepared to run services to Sligo and Waterford for 5 days before the GB gigs were cancelled and Sligo/Waterford who added at very short notice well after the usual Cork/Galway etc. At the time there was no advertising of them but the schedules were:
23:50 Dublin Connolly - Sligo 02.50
00:20 Dublin Heuston - Waterford 02.30
00:30 Dublin Heuston - Galway 02.50
00:40 Dublin Heuston - Cork 03.15
00:40 Dublin Heuston - Limerick 02.45