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Dubliner pleads guilty to ticket tantrum after he fell asleep on bus... and woke up in Derry


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A Dublin man who boarded the express bus to Derry planning to travel only a few kilometres fell asleep and woke up 230km away with no money to pay the ¤24 fare, a court heard.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott told Derry Magistrates Court that Joseph McDonagh (31), of Sheriff Street, had planned to get off in Balbriggan.

He pleaded guilty to committing disorderly behaviour at Derry bus depot, assaulting a member of the Translink staff and fraud by false representation.

A Public Prosecution Service solicitor told District Judge Oonagh Mullan that when McDonagh boarded the bus on Tuesday he told the driver he had an e-ticket on his mobile phone.

She said the driver gave him “the benefit of the doubt”, but when his phone was charged after his arrival in Derry there was no e-ticket on it.

A bus inspector told McDonagh he would have to keep his mobile until he had paid the fare of either €24 or £18.80.

The solicitor said McDonagh then became abusive and aggressive towards the inspector.

He walked out of the depot but returned and again abused the inspector and kicked and punched a counter.

McDonagh apologised for his behaviour when he was arrested.

Mr MacDermott said the defendant boarded the express bus at Dublin airport.

“He only meant to go as far as Balbriggan but fell asleep and the next thing he was waking up in Derry,” he said.

“He had no reason to be here, he did not want to be here, although he said it’s a nice city.

“He was confused and he lost his temper and he became frustrated at being somewhere he didn’t want to be.

“He has only four cent on him so he will find it difficult to get back home to Dublin.”

Judge Mullan told McDonagh his behaviour towards Translink staff was unacceptable.

She imposed a conditional discharge for 12 months and advised the defendant to “get back to Dublin by legitimate means”.