Passengers tackle gang in 'terrifying' train graffiti attack
Brave passengers tackled a graffiti gang armed with knives and wooden planks who forced a train to stop at a station during 20 minutes of "terror".
Around 20 youths, wearing balaclavas and hoodies, lay in wait at Clongriffin station in north Dublin on Tuesday night, according to eyewitnesses.
The gang jammed doors with pieces of wood to cause the Dublin city to Malahide Dart to remain stationary, while they spray painted the outside carriage, causing €4,000 damage.
But some train passengers took on the gang as others sat watching "in terror", one eyewitness said.
Passenger Damien Hawe, from Lusk, Co Dublin, tackled one gang member and told how he went into shock after he realised they had been carrying knives as well as planks of wood.
"Around 20 lads, wearing balaclavas and hoodies, ran down the platform," he said.
"One of the lads stood in front of the door so the train couldn't move on. One passenger told him to move away from the door as he wanted to get out and go home.
"But I could see (the gang member) and his friends were getting aggressive, so I went over to see what was going on.
"I tried to grab one of them to get him away from the door as he just wouldn't be moved and the train couldn't move.
"A few of the lads who'd started spray painting the train up the platform saw he was in trouble and came to help him.
"I then realised one of them had a 2x4 plank of wood and he started waving it towards us. He started smashing the plank of wood against the Dart.
"It was only after gardaí arrived I found out they had knives."
He said there were up to five passengers trying to get the gang to leave.
"After we got them off the train the driver locked the doors," Mr Hawe said.
"We could see the gang prowling up and down and they even stayed round another few minutes to finish."
Irish Rail said it had been made aware that two gangs could have been involved in the incident and it labelled the crime "an unprecedented graffiti attack" on a train.
Gardaí have not made any arrests but are carrying out an investigation of criminal damage.