Iarnrod Eireann being 'proactive' over antisocial behaviour, says spokesman

ireland
Iarnrod Eireann Being 'Proactive' Over Antisocial Behaviour, Says Spokesman Iarnrod Eireann Being 'Proactive' Over Antisocial Behaviour, Says Spokesman
Rail passengers are facing potential travel disruption in the run-up to Christmas as train staff are set to ballot for work stoppages. Photo: PA Images.
Share this article

Olivia Kelleher

An Iarnrod Eireann spokesman has said he has enormous sympathy for staff on trains who feel under pressure from antisocial behaviour but he does not believe that discommoding "law-abiding" customers via industrial action is the answer to their problems.

It comes as rail passengers are facing potential travel disruption in the run-up to Christmas as train staff are set to ballot for work stoppages, with members of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) saying authorities must act to protect rail workers from antisocial behaviour.

Barry Kenny, communications manager with Iarnrod Eireann, acknowledged that there are many recorded incidents of antisocial behaviour on trains but he emphasised that "incidents that are prevented" are never logged.

"Certainly the resources that have been put in place are yielding results. We have extensively pushed out addressing fare evasion, which is one aspect of antisocial behaviour, and penalties are issued," he told the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk.

Advertisement

"We don't feel disrupting through industrial action the overwhelming majority of customers who are law-abiding and rely on the services will achieve that. There is a lot of proactive work going on.

"We have obviously been increasing the resources we have been putting towards addressing (antisocial behaviour).  But we have been working with our employees, trade unions and the gardaí and our own private security personnel to ensure we are putting in place measures to address this and to respond to specific incidents," he said.

'Confined spaces'

Mr Kenny said that antisocial behaviour is a general societal issue which is particularly obvious in "confined spaces" such as trains.

"The unique scenario is on public transport in particular, that when it is a confined space we have to understand that it is our employees, who work daily on board our trains, who are most directly impacted. Customers - most will travel without incidents," he said.

"Whereas someone who works every day on our services, if they see an issue develop they are acutely aware of the potential for that incident. I very much understand that and it is something we have been working with our employees to address."

Mr Kenny said Iarnrod Eireann is currently working to address issues raised.

Advertisement

There is live station CCTV monitoring at all times during rail operations

"The majority of intercity services do have a customer services officer on board. Obviously their role is not a security guard, it is a customer service role. But it means there is a point of contact for customers to raise issues and be able to escalate that to gardaí and to central control," he said.

"We have also in our security teams, which patrol the Dart and the commuter routes, we have increased those resources by 50 per cent. We have up to 20 teams now operating every day and we have also established ongoing joint patrols with the gardaí. They happen week in, week out.

"We also have a dedicated security monitoring centre over the Dublin area stations so there is live station CCTV monitoring at all times during rail operations, to ensure we can work with our security teams and work with gardaí and direct resources where they are needed.

"Nobody can have anything but sympathy for employees who face these issues and we acknowledge over recent times that it has increased."

People are terrified out of their living daylights

Ireland
Rail workers to vote on industrial action over lac...
Read More

Meanwhile, Independent councillor for Dublin Bay South Mannix Flynn, who regularly travels on the Dublin to Cork route, said that what is taking place on trains is "absolutely appalling."

"You would be hard-pressed to see presence of any Garda," he said.

"Train people have to deal with heroin use, antisocial behaviour... some of the most appalling stuff going on.

"People are terrified out of their living daylights and isolate themselves into [a] corner (on trains because of antisocial behaviour)."

Read More

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© BreakingNews.ie 2022, developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com