Discussions on boards has suggestions that there are potential moves within IE to have the Mk 4's mothballed in the near-medium term future and to have an all ICR service on the Cork-Dublin route. Its a pity that this might be on the cards for stock that is less than 10 years in service. If it were to occur it would seem quite wasteful indeed when one considers that there are a lot of Mk 3s running on the British network that are about 40 years old with many due for refits that will see them remain in service for another 15-20 years.
I suppose the introduction of some ICR services on the route some years past was an omen of things to come. I would imagine that the mothballing proposal is tied to the desire to remove the 201s from service at the same time. The plan used to be that if the 201s were to go there were going to convert the DVTs to power cars and additional power cars squired. Presumably this is ruled out on grounds of cost. The celtic tiger overindulgence on flooding the networks with ICRs has sealed the fate for locomotive hauled services here.