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Four cabbies knifed in robbery blackspot

FOUR taxi drivers have been slashed and robbed in a spate of attacks in the capital, the Herald can reveal.

A junction in Blanchardstown in West Dublin was today dubbed an "assault blackspot" following four horrifying incidents in the space of just three weeks.

The attacks prompted one taxi driver association to warn its Dublin members to be on high alert.

The incidents all happened on the junction of Ongar Road and Stonebridge Road in Blanchardstown, according to sources.

Tiomanai Taxi na hEireann (TTnh) - a voluntary group representing drivers across Dublin - sent out a text message to members this weekend to highlight the incidents and warn them to take care.

Industry sources told the Herald that a growing number of drivers are choosing to carry weapons in their cars amid the reports of attacks on drivers.

One taxi driver in the city, who asked to remain unnamed, told the Herald that he felt he had "no choice" but to start carrying a weapon.

"A number of my colleagues have been attacked or had near-scares in recent weeks. So I've begun carrying a metal bar in the car. It's for my own safety and down as a precaution," the driver said.

West Dublin Fianna Fail councillor David McGuinness described the news of the attacks as "deeply shocking".

Cllr McGuinness told the Herald: "No industry should face the prospect of having their face or body slashed in the course of their duties. These incidents are very serious.

"Taxi drivers belong to families as fathers, mothers, or children. Their families expect their return after a day or night's work. This situation is simply unacceptable and public support is necessary to have this situation dealt with."