So I phoned Irish Rail today to ask what I should do in this situation, more out of interest as to what I'd be told than for actual guidance.
According to their Customer Services:
If the ticket office is closed, and the ticket machine won't sell me the ticket I need, I must buy the ticket online. If I can't/won't buy it online, I must buy separate tickets for each leg of the journey. Leaving Dundalk on the 21:20 train, I have "11 minutes wait in Connolly and 19 minutes wait in Heuston" which is more than enough time to buy a ticket in each station. If this costs more than one through ticket, so be it. The onus is on me to buy a ticket before travelling, there is never any circumstance whatsoever in which I can board a train without a valid ticket.
According to the Information Desk in Heuston:
If the ticket office is closed, and the ticket machine won't sell me the ticket I need, it'd be best to buy it online if possible, but not if it's more expensive or I need an open return. If I don't buy it online, I can board the train without a ticket, but it'd be advisable to take a photograph of the closed ticket office and the machine not having my destination listed. There's no guarantee I won't be fined, but it'd be very unlikely as long as I make it clear I wanted and tried to buy a ticket. I should try purchasing a ticket at every station I get on or off a train at (i.e. Connolly, Heuston and Kildare). If none of these stations can sell me a ticket, I travel for free. The ticket machines all have every station listed though, that must just be an issue with the machines in Dundalk (which I know is not true)
I couldn't get through to Connolly Station.
Two completely different pieces of advice, one "pay as much as you have to above the normal fare, nothing you can do about it", the other "don't pay any more than the correct fare, but you might be fined although it's unlikely"
As a related but separate question, I am assuming that if I don't have a rail ticket valid on the Luas I need to touch in and out or buy a Luas ticket for the Connolly-Heuston leg regardless of what the reason for not having the rail ticket is?
Last edited by danm14 : 07-04-2018 at 00:24.