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Unread 07-08-2009, 15:58   #9
ThomasJ
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http://www.herald.ie/national-news/c...s-1854293.html

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Commuters demand action on train thugs
FEAR: Rail chiefs step up security to beat drugs gang

By Geraldine Gittens


Friday August 07 2009

IARNROD Eireann is increasing security on a Dublin train after complaints that a gang has been taking drugs and intimidating passengers.

The thugs have been regularly terrorising people on board a commuter train leaving some -- including senior citizens -- fearing for their lives.

A core group of five men have frequented the Dublin to Gorey train and engaged in loutish behaviour and verbal abuse, making the journey a nightmare for the passengers, it has been claimed.

The men regularly take drugs on the train. They "openly discuss" what drugs they have on them, and then go to the toilets to take them until they disembark at a Wicklow train station.

Passengers are alleging that the men have threatened an elderly woman, and they verbally abuse and shout at passengers, who've described it as "disgusting behaviour".

Iarnrod Eireann says it is increasing security levels on their trains between Gorey and Dublin. A spokesperson for the rail company said: "There's a group who have on occasion caused problems. They have been loud and intimidating to other passengers. We are putting additional security on the train in question, and obviously if we find the people in question, we'll stop them from getting on the train.

"It's become an intermittent problem recently but we will move security up on all of those trains because if we just target one train, the problem will move on to some other time.

"A lot of it is verbal and there have been no assaults, thankfully. Regular customers have seen these people causing trouble and their presence makes them very uncomfortable."

He added that Iarnrod Eireann can prevent people from travelling if they are causing trouble, by confiscating their social welfare passes.

Passengers are increasingly fearful each time the men board the train in Wicklow, and when one particular passenger tried to leave, he was intimidated by the group.

"The group started hurling all sorts of abuse at him and one individual followed the man and threatened to break his back," one source has said.

Some passengers pay up to 1,000 a year for a train ticket and have had to put up with the troublesome gang in the last few months.

One local told the Herald: "People just want to go from A to B and pay their fare, and it's up to the gardai and Iarnrod Eireann to solve it."

hnews@herald.ie
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