taxi ireland cab hackney car hire taxis taxi






Rising violence against taxi drivers in Dublin 
Irish Times - Friday, August 3, 2001 -  Joe Humphreys 

Taxi drivers are threatening to withdraw their services from the streets of Dublin unless action is taken against what they perceive as a dramatic rise in violent attacks.

The National Taxi Drivers' Union has written to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr O'Donoghue, calling for urgent measures to combat the violence.

The union vice-president, Mr Vincent Kearns, estimated there was an average of two attacks per night on taxi drivers, "the majority of which go unreported". Particularly alarming, he said, was that "the severity of the attacks is getting worse".

He cited three recent cases, one involving a female taxi driver, where serious injuries occurred. In two of the cases, gardaí have made arrests.

Mr Kearns said taxi drivers should be given special protection, along with bus drivers and gardaí, as public-service providers. "The sentences handed down to guys who have attacked drivers are a joke. Some drivers have been put out of work altogether and their assailants are getting off with suspended sentences.

"A lot of them are drug-users and are simply being sent to rehab for treatment, where they might very well meet some of our drivers who are trying to recover from vicious assaults."

He said: "We are requesting a meeting with John O'Donoghue and will be demanding action. If we don't get it we will consider withdrawing services at certain hours and in certain areas."

He said legislation might be needed to ensure people who attacked drivers received stiffer sentences. There was also a need to fast-track assault cases in the courts, he said.

"It can take anything up to 10 months to get a case heard. To get witnesses 10 months after the event is nearly impossible."

He noted security problems were already discouraging drivers from working peak-time weekend periods. "Before deregulation there were a lot more two-man vehicles. Now, we have single-operator taxis who are more reluctant to go out at night when they can work during the day instead."


© 2000-2005, TAXI.IE                                     

   advertising | about us