Almost 40 incidents of antisocial behaviour have occurred on Cork train routes or stations, within a 12 month period, Irish Rail has confirmed.
From May 2020 to the end of April this year, there have been 37 incidents of antisocial behaviour on Cork services or at Cork stations.
The incidents range from non-compliance with Covid regulations, vandalism, possession of drugs or alcohol, theft and loitering.
In recent days, Irish Rail said it is looking at introducing on the spot fines for antisocial behaviour to deter the rise in such incidents.
A spokesperson for Irish Rail told The Echo that the offences for which the on the spot fines will be issued include vandalism, possession of drugs or alcohol and threatening behaviour.
“Currently these offences are prosecuted through a summons system. We are exploring introducing on the spot fines for these types of offences. Training for authorised officers and resourcing is currently being explored,” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, speaking to The Echo, general secretary of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) Dermot O’Leary said there was a steady increase in antisocial behaviour over the past three to four years.
“Antisocial behaviour is increasing year on year,” Mr O’Leary said, “there are people going to work feeling worried and in danger.”
He is calling for a dedicated Garda Public Transport Unit that would police the rail system.
“There needs to be a separate Garda division, there are concerns, staff are concerned. There are people who fear going to work.”
Mr O’Leary said there were “regular and problematic” commuters that were on routes regularly and make life difficult for staff.
“A dedicated unit is the only way to resolve the problem,” Mr O’Leary said.