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Inspector 'was bitten on leg and slashed' by passengers

AN Irish Rail ticket inspector is suing the company for failing to give him adequate training and security to protect him from attacks by passengers.

Nigel Broughal (39), St Anne's Park, Shankhill, Dublin, says he was slashed above his right eye with a Stanley knife in one attack and bitten twice on the leg in another.

Irish Rail denies negligence and claims Mr Broughal failed to exercise the care, skill and attention which the company was entitled to expect. It also says he had received training in appropriate conflict resolution techniques.

Colm Smyth, for Mr Broughal, told the High Court that on St Patrick's Day 2002, while on duty in Pearse Street Station, he was pushed and bitten twice on the leg by a passenger.

He had to get a hepatitis vaccination and AIDS tests. All this proved very stressful for Mr Broughal and he experienced serious mood swings. It put huge strain on his family life and resulted in his partner asking him to leave their home.

The incident involving the Stanley knife took place at Seapoint Station on January 23, 2004, when a passenger cut him just above the right eyebrow. He also suffered a number of small lacerations to the back of both his hands. He returned to work six months after this incident but continues to be upset by it and attends a psychologist.

Irish Rail says the alleged St Patrick's Day attack was not caused as a result of any negligence on their part, but was caused by a third party who suddenly and without warning attacked Mr Broughal.

It says the alleged Stanley knife incident was caused solely or contributed to as a result of Mr Broughal's negligence.

The hearing before Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill resumes on Tuesday.

hnews@herald.ie


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