Woman loses €50k claim in rail pass row

By Saurya Cherfi

A 41-YEAR-old unemployed Dublin mother who referred to a train ticket inspector as a "fat b****rd" when he asked about her free travel pass has lost a €50,000 claim for defamation in the Circuit Civil Court.

Carmel Monaghan told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that she had been travelling from Tralee to Cork with her son, Jack, in January last year when Michael Marshall checked her ticket.


Ms Monaghan said she showed Mr Marshall her ticket, along with her pass, which she said she held for medical reasons.

She told Gerard O'Herlihy, solicitor for Irish Rail, that Mr Marshall had asked her several times if the pass belonged to her and had asked for a back-up identity document.

Ms Monaghan, of Clanmoyle Road, Donnycarney, Dublin, denied that her documents had been marked with white Tippex correction fluid. She also denied that her plastic identity card had been cut at the corners.

Ms Monaghan said the ticket inspector had kept her documents and she had to apply for new ones. In conversation with her son, she had called Mr Marshall a "fat b****rd".

The inspector had said the pass did not look real and had been defaced.

Ms Monaghan said he knocked her to the side of the train when she bent down to lift the pass which had fallen. She had been "embarrassed and mortified" by what had happened in front of others.

Mr Marshall told the court that while on the train he had called the Free Travel Section of the Department of Social Welfare and had been instructed to hold on to the documents.

He said Ms Monaghan had been aggressive and abusive as he tried to explain to her why he needed to keep them.

Judge Groarke dismissed the claim and made no order regarding the legal costs.