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Finglas was like a war zone on night Dublin Bus driver was injured by rock-throwing youths, court told

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Peter McGuinness (51) of Old Connell Weir, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, leaving Dublin Circuit Civil Court Photo: Collins Courts

Peter McGuinness (51) of Old Connell Weir, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, leaving Dublin Circuit Civil Court Photo: Collins Courts

Peter McGuinness (51) of Old Connell Weir, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, leaving Dublin Circuit Civil Court Photo: Collins Courts

Finglas was like a war zone on the night a Dublin Bus driver was injured by youths throwing rocks, the Circuit Civil Court has been told.

The claim was made during a case taken by Peter McGuinness (51) after the bus he was driving was attacked in Finglas 10 years ago.

Mr McGuinness suffered a laceration of his right hand when shards of glass from the smashed windscreen had fallen in on him. 

The plaintiff showed the judge in the case the permanent scar that resulted from his injury.

Barrister Tom Clarke told the court Finglas had been like a war zone on the night his client Mr McGuinness had been injured.

Defence barrister Jeri Ward assured Judge James O’Donohue that the area was no longer dangerous for drivers as a result of peace talks involving gardaí, community groups and the company, Dublin Bus.

McGuinness, from Old Connell Weir, Newbridge, Co Kildare, said the attacks against buses were still happening in some areas of Dublin.

He said he had asked to be taken off the Finglas-to-Dublin centre route and had been transferred by the company.

As a result of the attack, he underwent counselling and was referred to a psychiatrist who had prescribed Valium for him.

Mr Clarke told Judge O’Donohue the attack had taken place on St Helena’s Road, Finglas, Dublin 11. A gang of youths had thrown stones and rocks, described by Mr McGuinness as small boulders, at the bus.

He said the bus windows were vulnerable to such attacks in that they were only double-glazed instead of having modern tri-glazed laminated safety windows currently used in new Dublin Bus vehicles.

Ms Ward, who appeared with CIÉ solicitor Colm Costello, said new buses in the Dublin Bus fleet now came with reinforced glass to international standards but the bus in question on the night of May 18, 2012, had been a 10-year-old bus.

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She said the bus in question on the night of the attack had been also been fitted to then existing international safety standards. Only emergency vehicles were fitted with unbreakable reinforced glass at the time of the 2012 incident.

Mr Clarke told the court it was the responsibility of Dublin Bus to protect its drivers as well as passengers and glass that did not erupt into shards should have been installed at the time.

He claimed the company had not carried out a risk assessment of the consequences of such attacks on its buses and was in breach of its duty to his client.

Judge O’Donohue said Mr McGuinnes appeared to be a man who had “not laid it on” during his evidence and invited the parties to have out-of-court discussions.

Later Mr Clarke said the case had been settled and the proceedings could be struck out with an order for Mr McGuinness’s legal costs.

The figure of settlement in the €60,000 personal injuries claim was not publicly divulged in court.

Mr McGuinness said he was still working for Dublin Bus.


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