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Monday 23 January 2017

'People died to keep your kind out of this country' - Man kicked off the Luas for 'racist abuse'

Published 26/10/2016 | 10:48

Luas (stock image)
Luas (stock image)

A Luas driver was forced to remove a man off the Luas after he verbally abused a black woman.

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Ciara Kelly, who witnessed the attack said the "horrible" man took an issue with the woman and began to shout at her.

"The man told the woman that people died to keep 'your kind' out of the country," Ciara told Today FM's Anton Savage show.

"The woman replied, 'I live here, I work here, I deserve to be here. Ireland is my home. You’re a horrible man'."

Ciara said the man who was "well-dressed" in a blazer and jeans raised his voice loud enough for everyone to hear.

"The woman remained cool and calm. They way she reacted showed that she was used to it and knew how to handle it."

She said she had to hold onto the woman because the man refused to make space for her.

"It was very much colour based. He made space for the white Polish girl who was speaking another language. He thought she was the right colour."

She continued to say she was surprised that most people remained quiet during the abuse.

"Everyone was wondering what was going on but few people said anything. Another woman called him nasty for making room for the Polish girl and not the black woman. It was ridiculous.

"By the time we got to the Smithfield stop the Luas driver had to stand up and told him, 'it’s your stop, you need to get out'.

"He said, 'No it’s not' and he said 'Sorry get out'.

"Everyone was shocked by the ordeal."

Ciara said the woman thanked everyone who helped her and said it wasn't the first time she was racially abused in Ireland.

"It was so raw and vicious. I wasn’t expecting something like this to happen in 2016 in Ireland."

Independent.ie have contacted the Luas for a comment.

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