Panic on the train as a “gang of 30 boards with weapons”
An investigation was opened after a gang of young people carrying an array of weapons created widespread panic on a train.
The incident, which happened at around 8 p.m. on Friday evening on Dublin’s Connolly to Maynooth line, comes as Irish Rail plans to spend more than € 5million on security this year due to an increase antisocial behavior.
Passengers said up to 30 thugs carrying hurleys, bats and hammers boarded the train at Broombridge.
“I couldn’t believe they were openly carrying guns on board and talking about how they were going to participate in a fight,” said a passenger. ‘There were loads
passengers returning from work and a few left the car to call Gardaí.
The passenger said most of the group were around 16 or 17 years old.
“They were really intimidating and you would be afraid to look at them because they were all pissed off and ready to beat someone up,” they added.
Once Irish Rail was alerted, the train was stopped at Coolmine. Gardaí rushed to the scene, but by the time they arrived the young people had fled.
“The train was stopped and officers patrolled the train and its surroundings, but no one was located,” a Garda spokesperson said.
Irish Rail confirmed it was reviewing CCTV footage of the incident, but claimed there were fewer gang members than passengers reported.
A spokesperson said: “A customer reported to our central control on Friday evening that there was a group of young people (around ten) who were on a Connolly train at Maynooth in Broombridge with tools as described.
“We contacted Gardaí, who boarded at Coolmine. However, it appears the group has disembarked at Castleknock station.
“Although we have no reports of anyone being threatened or injured, we are examining all CCTV cameras on the train and previous trains and stations, to aid the investigation.
The rail operator plans to spend 5.2 million euros on safety measures this year, an increase of 1.5 million euros since 2016.
The additional resources put in place have enabled up to 20 security teams to operate on trains and stations daily, according to Transport Minister Eamon Ryan.
Concerns have been expressed regarding the safety of Irish Rail staff due to a growing level of anti-social behavior.
This week it was revealed that from January to early November, some 211 Dart cars were degraded in 55 separate incidents, with cleaning and repair costs totaling € 516,000.
Staff vote on industrial action because of a perceived lack of protection from “brutality”. And anti-social behavior is not only a source of concern for Irish Rail.
Such incidents on the Luas have increased by 18% in one year, according to figures released to Dublin Rathdown Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond.
In 2019, 593 cases of antisocial behavior were reported while in 2020, there were 702.
Dublin Bus has taken additional steps in recent years to tackle disorderly passengers. However, incidents continue to increase, with 514 in 2020, up from 494 in 2019.
Mr Richmond called for a dedicated strategy to bring together gardaí, public transport operators and the government to stop this trend.
He said: “This problem has persisted for too long and with members of the National Bus and Railroad Union considering a strike for anti-social behavior, it is clear that action is needed. Everyone deserves to feel safe. safety in public transport, and as the Christmas season approaches, we need to keep everyone safe.