Travel in comfort and style with Slieve Bloom Coaches 


Slieve Bloom Coaches)

Slieve Bloom Coach Tours Ltd, incorporating Townlink Express, has been providing an exceptional service to passengers in the midlands and beyond for almost 40 years. 

Always striving for perfection, the Mountmellick, Co. Laois-based operator has taken delivery of two stunning new Volvo MCV Evora, low floor service buses for its scheduled services. Finished with every extra possible, including security screens and CCTV, the buses were supplied by Diarmaid Thompson, Irish sales manager for Volvo Buses, and have been placed on the company’s Townlink services between Portlaoise and Kilkenny, and Portlaoise and Borris-in-Ossory. 

The new additions have the distinction of being the first two vehicles to be registered in Laois in the second half of 2023, bearing the regs 232-LS-1 and 232-LS-2. 

“We’re now running five Volvo MCV Evoras, having bought another two together in July 2019. They are 38-seat service buses with standing room for a further 20 people. The feedback from the drivers and passengers has been very good, with the drivers enjoying the manoeuvrability and the passengers enjoying a comfortable ride,” Paddy O’Connell of Slieve Bloom Coach Tours explains. 

“They’ve integrated well with our Volvo B8RLEs that are also used on our scheduled Townlink services here in the midlands.” 

Slieve Bloom Coach Tours has also invested heavily in its tour coaches which include Mercedes-Benz Tourismos and a high-spec 68-seat MAN Beulas. The family business is currently running between 38 and 40 buses which are predominantly Volvo and Mercedes-Benz. 

From humble beginnings in 1985 when husband-and-wife Des and Theresa O’Connell started out providing a daily service run from Mountmellick and Portlaoise to Dublin with a 49-seater Bedford 500, Slieve Bloom Coach Tours Ltd / Townlink Express has grown into the midlands’ leading private coach hire operator. 
Boasting a luxurious, efficient and state-of-the-art fleet, the family-run business takes care of all your transport requirements. 
“We’ve come a long way over the years,” says Paddy, who is a director in the business along with his father Des and brother John (whose teenage son Tom is showing a keen interest). 

“In between the service runs to Dublin in the morning and evening, we did school runs and airport transfers with that old Bedford. We’re now running nearly 40 coaches and have 45 working with us, including 34-35 drivers who are professional, reliable and courteous. The customer always comes first with us and we’re here to make their travelling experience a pleasure, each and every time.” 
Slieve Bloom’s executive coaches offer air conditioning, WIFI, audio/video facilities, WC facilities and comfortable reclining seats with ample leg room. 
Wheelchair accessibility is also standard on most coaches. The company’s dedicated team of professionals will make sure your journey is as comfortable and relaxing as possible. All of the coaches are uniformly branded with the distinctive company logo. 
Slieve Bloom Coach Tours is committed to providing its passengers with the highest safety standards with each coach fitted with seat belts and the latest safety features. All drivers are fully trained, courteous and professional in every aspect of their job. They undergo regular training in driving practice and health & safety. The fleet is maintained by Paddy, who runs Laois Commercials from the same premises in Killeen, Mountmellick, along with an expert team of technicians to ensure maximum performance, efficiency and safety. Paddy served his time as a mechanic with Bernard Kavanagh in Urlingford, Co. Kilkenny. 

Two of the tour coaches – a MAN Beulas and Mercedes-Benz Tourismo – are subcontracted to Wild Rover Tours during the busy summer months. Wild Rover Tours offers a selection of award-winning day tours from Dublin to stunning locations around Ireland. The Slieve Bloom coaches service the Dublin-Cliffs of Moher route which takes in Galway, Limerick and Ennis. 

Slieve Bloom Coach Hire has seven buses dedicated to its Townlink Express services which provide a crucial service to many people in the midlands. Townlink operates six different routes, including Portlaoise-Tullamore (via Mountmellick), Portlaoise-Tullamore (via Portarlington), Portlaoise-Borris-in-Ossory, Tullamore-Mullingar and Kilkenny-Portlaoise. Most of the routes are served seven times a day. 

Furthermore, the company provides a school transport service on behalf of Bus Eireann (it serves up to 25 local schools) and specialises in corporate tours, day and extended tours, school tours, transport to concerts, festivals and sporting events along with airport transfers. It has a coach for every occasion! 
A business that is clearly going places, Slieve Bloom Coach Tours Ltd / Townlink Express is committed to offering the very best service at exceptional prices. The O’Connell family would like to take this opportunity to thank its passengers and suppliers for their continued support as well as its staff for their hard work, dedication and skill. 
Slieve Bloom Coach Tours Ltd / Townlink Express 
Forest View, 
Co. Laois. 
Telephone: 057 8624416 
Email: [email protected] 

First published in Irish Trucker magazine December 2023/January 2024, Vol 26-7