Bus driver threatened with rape on 'night of hell'
A female bus driver was threatened with rape during a "night of hell" across public transport services on Halloween.
Eleven incidents were recorded by Dublin Bus and Busáras, prompting the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) to call for an immediate rollout of a dedicated Garda Transport Unit.
The NBRU reported a female driver on the 220 route in Co Cork was threatened with rape by a gang of men.
There was also a serious incident in Ashbourne, Co Meath, in which a firework was fired at a bus when the doors were open. The device exploded in the doorwell, but no one was injured. The union also reported "absolute mayhem" near the University of Limerick, resulting in buses being redirected after 8pm.
Incidents involving stones, fireworks and egg throwing also led to buses being called off in O'Malley Park, Ballynanty and Carew Park in Co Limerick.
Several Dublin Bus routes were withdrawn due to gangs of youths, multiple fires and stolen cars joyriding.
The NBRU warned that while no member of staff had been injured, the incidents could have led to "very serious" consequences.
"The NBRU have been campaigning for a Garda Public Transport Unit to be established for some time," said general secretary Dermot O'Leary. "The Government should heed the concerns of public-transport workers and not allow for the appalling vista of someone suffering serious injury or worse before action is taken.
"The withdrawal or curtailment of public transport services due to loutish behaviour on an almost daily basis is patently not fair on the hundreds and thousands of law-abiding citizens that use these services.
"The NBRU will continue to monitor the anti-social behaviour and downright thuggery that has become pervasive across bus and rail services."
Mr O'Leary added he was calling on all politicians to insist that the Government acted on its call "before it's too late".
In July, Dublin South-West TD John Lahart had called for a dedicated Garda unit after footage of a brutal attack on a man on the Luas went viral on social media.
He said the incident highlighted the urgent need for gardaí to patrol trams as well as buses and trains, where violence was now "becoming the norm".
In May, Labour senator Kevin Humphreys urged Irish Rail to take immediate action to deal with the problem of packs of teenage boys and young men drinking on the Dart and commuter trains en route to beaches or the city during the day.
Meanwhile, Irish Rail has recently introduced a text alert service so Dart passengers can report anti-social behaviour on board trains and at stations.
Passengers can text the word TRAIN followed by location, carriage number and details of the incident to 51444.