After 47 years with Irish Rail, well-known train host Billy Kent has marked the end of his time at Kent Station.
As Mr Kent made his way into the station on his last journey as train host, staff at Cork’s Kent Station ensured that he got the send-off he deserved after over 47 years with Irish Rail.
Mr Kent is a notable character for all who regularly pass through the station, being nicknamed 'Billy Gent' by his colleagues for his friendly personality.
After 12 years as a train host and interacting with passengers, Billy Kent said that he will “of course” miss his role, but after almost 48 years working with Irish Rail, he feels as though it is time to retire.
“I’ve come to that age where I have to tie up my boots,” he joked.
Mr Kent has spent the majority of his time at the station on return journeys between Cork and Dublin, where no day was the same.
“You could have something different happen every day,” he said, “there is always something happening.” His time as a train host has left him with a few interesting stories and a great relationship with his regular passengers as well as his colleagues.
“He’s a fantastic individual. He is going to be so missed by everybody. Every department down here loves Billy,” said his colleague, Pat Healy.
“He was very popular on the trains. He’s just such a friendly face and he will be missed.” Mr Kent’s father also worked with Irish Rail.
Like his father, Mr Kent started out his career on the goods yard before moving to Kent Station in 2008, where he has remained for the past 12 years.
“He’s a wonderful man. He had a great career,” said Mr Healy, whose father also worked with Mr Kent.
Despite Covid-19 restrictions, the team at Kent Station ensured that “Billy Gent” got the send-off he deserved, greeting him after his last journey into Cork on Friday afternoon.
“We are a family. Even though we don’t agree some of the time, we all look out for each other in the end,” said Mr Healy.
“Every department will miss him, and we wish himself and his wife, Carmel a happy, healthy retirement.”