Judge Seamus Hughes
A judge has launched a blistering attack on the increasing level of anti-social behaviour and “blaggardism” on local train services after a man was punched and knocked to the ground while attempting to stop two men drinking and smoking on a Sligo to Dublin service.
Dubliner Albert Hynes had been en route back to the capital after visiting his daughter in Carrick-on-Shannon when he was assaulted by Patrick Doonan, 62 Manorlands, Trim, Meath and Tony McDonagh, 75 Oaklands, Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim on February 16 2018.
The incident, which took place at Edgeworthstown Railway Station, left the 54-year-old with two black eyes and bruising to his forehead.
Taking the stand, Mr Hynes said he was assaulted shortly after returning from the toilet.
“I saw this chap going right up into an elderly chap’s face,” he said, adding that the older man had been accompanied by a young child.
“I said: ‘You shouldn’t be drinking and smoking on the train and that’s when I got attacked by the two of them.”
Judge Seamus Hughes said the entire episode was “intolerable” especially after Mr Hynes had also claimed he had noticed an Irish Rail official pass by moments before the assault but had not said anything to the two suspects.
He expressed his loathing at the apparent upsurge in cases of individuals coming before him charged with public order offences on trains.
“You can’t walk into Croke Park with six cans and you shouldn’t be able to walk onto a train with six cans,” he said, stating there was no excuse for innocent victims like Mr Hynes to be left “battered black and blue”.
Asked for his own take on what he had said, Mr Hynes replied: “I am no expert, you are the judge.”
Sgt Paddy McGirl confirmed the incident did indeed involve Mr Hynes coming to the aid of an elderly passenger and a six-year-old child.
Judge Hughes said he would not be issuing any ruling on the case after it emerged Mr Doonan’s co-accused was not present.
He also said he would be seeking the attendance of Ianrod Éireann’s communications chief Barry Kenny when the case next comes before him.
“Bring Barry Kenny here and tell him to bring his chequebook and we will see whether they (Ianrod Éireann) walk the walk,” he said.
In describing the attack on Mr Hynes as an “appalling case”, Judge Hughes said he, himself, would be thinking twice in the future about whether to avail of the State’s rail network.
“I have free travel now and I certainly won’t be using CIE is this is the type of blaggardism they allow on their trains,” he stormed.
The case was adjourned and is expected to return before a sitting of Longford District Court on July 23 2019.