The disturbance to DART services caused by a brawl on the train yesterday evening highlights the need for a dedicated Garda Transport Unit, according to local Councillor Cormac Devlin.

The row broke out at 9.30pm on a northbound train at Salthill and Monkstown stations, causing DART services to be suspended for over 40 minutes.

Local Fianna Fáil Councillor Cormac Devlin commented, “It is unacceptable that DART services can be held hostage by a group of thugs. The public have every right to expect a reliable service and feel secure as they go about their business.

“I would like to commend Irish Rail staff and the Gardaí for their handling of the issue. However, this disturbance should serve as a wake-up call for policy-makers. This is not the first disturbance on the DART service this year. We regularly hear reports about the public feeling unsafe on the service, particularly at night time. While Irish Rail employ dedicated security, they do not have power of arrest or the other powers enjoyed by Gardaí.

“Unfortunately it’s the same situation on the Luas lines and on many bus routes.  It is clear that we need better policing of our transport network to protect passengers.

“I am calling on the Minister for Justice to establish a dedicated Garda Transport Unit. The very presence of uniformed officers would prevent many minor issues occurring and would ensure more serious issues could be dealt with more quickly,” concluded Councillor Devlin.