Garda 'security blitz' called for after alleged drug use on Dublin to Cork train

Garda 'security blitz' called for after alleged drug use on Dublin to Cork train

Irish Rail has said that instances of anti-social behaviour onboard its services are rare and that it works closely with gardaí as well as its security contractor in order to reduce any instances of anti-social behaviour. The Dublin to Cork train at Kent Station [File Pic] Picture Dan Linehan

A “MASSIVE security blitz”, with gardaí assigned to police trains, has been called for following alleged drug use on the Dublin to Cork rail route.

According to Irish Rail, on Monday evening its Heuston-Cork service was delayed after the driver received a report of drug use occurring on the train.

Gardaí attended at Hazelhatch train station near Celbridge and the train continued on its journey after a delay of about 30 minutes.

No drugs were found, but general secretary of the National Bus & Rail Union (NBRU) Dermot O’ Leary has described anti-social behaviour as a common problem on public transport, which is “out of control”.

In a letter to Irish Rail chief executive, seen by The Echo, Mr O’ Leary describes the “frustration of the NBRU”, which has repeatedly raised concerns over anti-social behaviour.

“The NBRU is black and blue in the face from raising issues associated with anti-social behaviour aboard our trains over recent years.

general secretary of the National Bus & Rail Union (NBRU) Dermot O’ Leary has described anti-social behaviour as a common problem on public transport, which is “out of control”. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie
general secretary of the National Bus & Rail Union (NBRU) Dermot O’ Leary has described anti-social behaviour as a common problem on public transport, which is “out of control”. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

“[Monday’s] incident, in the middle of Pandemic Level 5 restrictions, where essential travel only is permitted, is frankly off the scale,” he said.

Irish Rail has said that instances of anti-social behaviour onboard its services are rare and that it works closely with gardaí as well as its security contractor in order to reduce any instances of anti-social behaviour.

However, in his letter, Mr O’Leary said that during the first lockdown, he highlighted “gaps” in security at a number of stations.

“We were given assurances that security would be ramped up, unfortunately, this commitment did not produce any material improvement in security at these stations.”

Referring to this week’s incident on the Dublin to Cork line, Mr O’ Leary said that it is now time for security to be ramped up.

“It has gone way beyond time for hard decisions to be made, it is now time for a massive security blitz on our trains, one that will see large numbers of personnel (preferably gardaí) on our train services.

“There is no time for conversations, there is no time for consultation, action is needed, and it is needed now.”

Speaking to The Echo, Mr O’ Leary said that members have had enough. “We’ve been able to run public transport throughout the Covid crisis and here we are in a situation where the anti-social behaviour is out of control. Basically, that could actually stop public transport because our members are telling us that really have had enough of this now.”

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