A DELIVEROO rider who alleges he was assaulted in Cork city last week has spoken out about how fearful he was to return to work following the incident.
Rangel Teixeira was delivering an order on St Patrick’s Day when he was accosted by passers-by in a white van near University College Cork (UCC).
He told The Echo he was hit by an egg that was thrown from the van when first targeted on College Road and was then targeted five minutes later on Magazine Road by the same people at around 9.40pm on Wednesday last.
On what was Mr Teixeira’s fourth day on the job, he said that following the attack, he was fearful to return to work but was left with no options as “bills have to be paid”.
“I feel for my safety after what happened so I was afraid to return to work. I didn’t expect it in Cork,” he said.
He said that he felt “lost, angry and sad” and that he was particularly stressed having worked a long day “because I have to pay my bills and support myself”.
“I’m working to serve the population and delivery men are attacked unfairly and these types of attacks are very common but we just don’t expose it and we just feel helpless frequently.
“If those people worked several hours a day, going up and down hills, and risking their lives in the rain, storms and cold, they would respect us more," he said.
“I could have stayed at home and enjoyed St Patrick’s Day but I preferred to go out and work.
"It’s not asking for much to be respected as an essential worker."
Mr Teixeira moved to Ireland from his homeland of Brazil in 2019 to improve his English and recently took the job with Deliveroo to earn more money. He said that he has reported the incident to An Garda Síochána.
When put to the company, a spokesperson for Deliveroo said they “strongly condemn all forms of attacks or violence against riders”.
“Riders’ safety is our top priority at Deliveroo,” the spokesperson said.
“We are investigating this alleged assault and are in direct contact with the rider to gather more information.
“We are also working collaboratively with the gardaí to increase support for our riders across Ireland and keep the situation under close review. Riders can alert us to safety concerns in the app and never have to work in areas where they feel unsafe,” the spokesperson said.
An Garda Síochána advised anyone who feels they are a victim of a crime to report to their local garda station.