ADDITIONAL gardaí will be patrolling a number of bus routes following the assault and robbery of a bus driver in the Silversprings area.
President of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU), John Moloney, said following a meeting yesterday morning with Bus Éireann, assurances were given that protection, in the form of gardaí, would be provided for drivers who were concerned about a similar incident occurring.
At 11.40pm on Thursday evening, the number 208 bus driver was threatened and assaulted in Ashmount with a sharp implement and the money from the bus was robbed along with personal items belonging to the bus driver.
Gardaí have said the culprit, who was aged about 20, was of medium build, wearing a green hoody and yellow ‘goalkeeper’ gloves.
Mr Moloney said this was an isolated incident but it was also an extremely serious one.
“We have not had attacks of this nature in Cork for some time. Having said that, all other drivers operating on all routes are hugely concerned and we got guarantees from Bus Éireann that there would be a strong Garda presence patrolling the area,” he said.
“Our union has to protect its members and the garda presence will be a huge help to us.”
Mr Moloney said the NBRU will be monitoring the situation closely and will take remedial action should there be any escalation of any kind.
“If there were to be any more incidents or we can’t get the protection from the guards and the protection of the company, who have a responsibility to their employees, then the NBRU will be taking its own actions to protect its own members and to protect the people travelling on buses,” he said.
In a statement from Bus Éireann, the company said the driver was “shaken” by the incident, and is being offered support by the company.
“Gardaí are now investigating the matter and will review CCTV from the bus, and carry out forensic tests,” it said.
Superintendent Mick Comyns also appealed to the public and to the passengers on board the bus to contact Mayfield Gardai on 021-4558510.