Wednesday 21 March 2018

Racist teens who abused elderly couple on train will be prosecuted, says Irish Rail

Irish Rail chief executive David Franks
Irish Rail chief executive David Franks

John Brennan

Irish Rail is "seeking to identify" teenagers who racially abused and threatened an elderly couple and a teen at a Dublin train station.

The shocking incident took place in Clonsilla on Sunday evening.

Fiona Lally (28), who saw the incident, took to Twitter to voice her disgust.

"Just witnessed racial abuse in Dublin for the first time. Shameful," she tweeted.

Ms Lally told the Herald that there were several teenagers causing trouble at the train station on Sunday night.

The group began to verbally "abuse a young guy of about 16, then proceeded to abuse an elderly couple", she said.

Fiona was left in disbelief after one of the teenagers called the young man "a n****r b*****d" and continued to push and insult him.

As they left the area, the group of teenagers also racially abused an elderly Asian couple who were standing nearby.

"[The teenagers] were mocking their language… and calling them 'c***ky b*****ds'".

A representative for Irish Rail said: "We will be reviewing our CCTV to establish if we can identify those involved in this incident and work to secure a prosecution."

Several people witnessed the incident but because of the aggressive behaviour of the group, they were afraid to intervene.

"It's the first time I've witnessed it first-hand and it was extremely embarrassing, [and] intimidating to even stand near [the] group," Ms Lally said.

She went on to say how she hadn't encountered such racism before, but admitted "anyone can get in and out the gate [of the station] at off-peak hours with no ticket or leap card".

Barry Kenny, corporate communications manager at Irish Rail, told the Herald that they very much "regret" that their customers experienced this "anti-social behaviour".

"While it is not unusual here, or internationally, for stations to be unmanned, particularly at less busy times, we do have CCTV on board our trains and at stations," he said.

"Irish Rail employ and deploy mobile security teams who travel around the network to check for issues such as this," he said.

"Incidents of anti-social behaviour are relatively rare and we will respond with additional security resources should they be required."

He went on to say: "We also meet regularly with gardai and where there are specific recurring issues with anti-social behaviour we will address these."


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