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Vandals and drunks cause havoc for Irish Rail in 375 incidents

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Irish Rail have revealed there were 375 incidents on board trains since the beginning of this year

Irish Rail have revealed there were 375 incidents on board trains since the beginning of this year

Irish Rail have revealed there were 375 incidents on board trains since the beginning of this year

Irish Rail have revealed several hundred incidents of assault, vandalism, anti-social behaviour and intoxication on board trains and at stations were recorded since the beginning of this year.

Rail bosses have confirmed that there were 375 incidents, including 306 involving anti-social behaviour, and an additional 34 episodes which involved passengers who were intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.

There were 16 incidents of vandalism, and a spokesperson for the company said that this also included the windows of both stationary and moving trains being smashed.

This figure also accounted for damage caused to stations and incidents which occurred overnight.

Staff assaults were high, with 19 incidents recorded since the beginning of 2014, and the majority of these are understood to have involved protection officers.

Irish Rail said that the incidents quoted accounted only for the episodes which have been brought to their attention, and there may be a number of others which have gone unrecorded by members of the public.

The most recent known encounter occurred on Thursday evening on board a Dart train.

Several staff members were forced to tackle a man as he smashed 16 windows with two emergency hammers.

The 32-year-old man was arrested by gardai on suspicion of criminal damage, which happened on a stationary train in Bray Station at 4.30pm on Thursday afternoon.

No other passengers were on-board the carriage at the time, but extensive damage was caused.

Capacity was subsequently reduced on some morning rush-hour services yesterday due to the damage.

"The driver and station staff became aware of the situation and only for their quick thinking more damage was not caused," a spokeswoman added.

"They were the first at the scene and tried to stop him from breaking more windows. They managed to detain him until gardai arrived."

A Garda spokesman said the suspect was later released without charge, and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Earlier this year, 33 passengers narrowly escaped injury after a Dart train became derailed close to Bray.

The train came off the tracks after it collided with some rocks, which are believed to have been purposefully left on the tracks.

Irish Independent