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High Court president dismisses woman's action for defamation against Dublin Bus claiming she had been humiliated during incident


Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns

THE president of the High Court has said it is "hard to understand" how Dublin Bus drivers on their own are expected to deal with not only heavy traffic and taking fares but dealing with problems among passengers.

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was speaking when he dismissed a woman's action for defamation against Dublin Bus claiming she had been humiliated during an incident on the Number 27 in Coolock on January 21, 2014.

He said the citizens of Dublin were well aware of the problems drivers have to face with the "exponential" increase in traffic over the last 20 years and the disappearance of conductors to help in dealing with passengers.

"I find it hard to understand how they can be expected to deal not only with taking fares and the demands of traffic but incidents, particularly late at night.

"It is regrettable that civility and good manners seem to be a thing of the past where the interface between drivers and some members of the public is concerned".

He dismissed an appeal brought by Simone Connington (34), Upper Dominick Street, Dublin, against a Circuit Court decision also dismissing her action against Dublin Bus.

She claimed driver James Travers told her not to be "so f...ing arrogant" and told her to get off before saying "we don't need scum like you on this bus."

Mr Travers, who is 13 years driving with Dublin Bus, said he did not use abusive language and warned her she would have to get off if she used such language.

The court heard the incident was sparked when another woman complained about being made late for work after a wheelchair user got on the crowded bus which already contained a number of baby buggies.

Ms Connington claimed Mr Travers told her "not to be so f...ing arrogant" as she bent down to speak to the wheelchair user to ask him to move in a little.

When the bus came to another stop, she claimed he made the "scum" remark. She denied giving him the two fingers as she took a photo of the bus when she got off but accepted she may have used bad language in response to Mr Travers' comments.

Mr Justice Kearns said he found Mr Travers to be an extremely credible witness and that Ms Connington had accepted under cross examination that she might have used bad language.

He awarded costs against her.

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