Undercover gardaí deployed to tackle antisocial behaviour on Dublin buses, Dáil hears

Eamon Ryan says abuse and violence on public transport has become a ‘real scourge’

Undercover gardaí have been deployed to help clamp down on antisocial behaviour on or towards buses, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has said.

He told the Dáil on Thursday that both Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead have noted increases in antisocial behaviour on their services, including verbal abuse towards employees and stone-throwing at buses.

Dublin Bus experienced 621 reports of antisocial behaviour on its services last year, with Go-Ahead recording 310 similar incidents.

Mr Ryan provided the figures to Sinn Féin TD Mark Ward, who asked what measures were being taken to address antisocial behaviour on or towards bus services in the capital.


The Dublin Midwest TD said there had been a number of bus curtailments in Clondalkin which was having a huge impact on passengers.

Mr Ryan said antisocial behaviour on public transport systems was a “real scourge” and that both Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead had introduced initiatives to help combat the issue

“Both Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead utilise extensive CCTV networks to discourage antisocial behaviour incidents,” he said.

“Further, An Garda Síochána are conducting more patrols in the areas experiencing particular safety and security issues and have deployed undercover gardaí to assist with this.”

Of the 621 reports of antisocial behaviour on Dublin Bus last year, 315 related to objects, particularly stones, thrown at buses and 91 incidents were aggressive behaviour.

Mr Ryan added that he took the issue “very seriously” and that his Department and the National Transport Authority (NTA) would continue to engage regularly with operators.

Mr Ward said on the 13 bus route, which goes from Grange Castle to Dublin, stones and other objects were regularly thrown at buses and drivers feared for their safety and that of passengers.

He said a decision had been taken for bus drivers not to enter the Bawnogue and Deansrath areas previously and local residents had been left stranded as a result.

“One family of a wheelchair user contacted me outlining how difficult this journey is for her if the bus stops early and they have to make their own way home,” he said.

Mr Ward also said that Dublin Bus should have a mechanism whereby it can engage itself with the Garda, youth outreach workers and local schools on an educational basis.

“We could have a holistic approach to this,” he added. “The behaviour of a small few individuals in one area is having a big impact on the majority of the decent residents there.

“If we could nip this in the bud earlier, get these people around the table like a taskforce, I think that would abruptly make a big difference and we could get the buses to stop detouring a lot more quickly than they have been.”

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Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times