Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Robert Troy TD has called on Minister Ross to set out the steps he will take to address anti-social behaviour on public transport services.
Deputy Troy made the comments after train drivers notified Irish Rail that they will halt DART services from 7pm on Friday and over the weekend over fears for their safety due to terrifying attacks.
Deputy Troy said, “There has been a sharp rise in the number of serious anti-social behaviour incidents on DART services. Irish Rail workers have been attacked and passengers have been left terrified as gangs of out of control youths run riot in stations and on trains.
“It’s astounding that Minister Ross hasn’t put forward any credible proposal to deal with this escalating crisis. He has turned down numerous opportunities to comment on the issue both in the Dáil and in the media. It’s nothing short of a disgrace that he is turning his back on train drivers and passengers and is seemingly willing to stand over a situation where the DART network will essentially shut down at weekends due to anti-social behaviour.
“Minister Ross needs to clarify whether he has met with Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan on this issue to discuss a coordinated response to these attacks. If not then he needs to set out when such a meeting with take place. This issue cannot be put on the long-finger.
“Fianna Fáil has been highlighting the need to tackle rising anti-social behaviour on public transport services for many years now. Our election manifesto contained a clear commitment to establish a specific public transport police section within An Garda Síochána. We remain committed to this and believe Gardaí, with full powers of arrest and detention, need to be actively patrolling on rail services and in train stations in order to tackle anti-social behaviour.
“Minister Ross needs to get his act together and start working on his brief. He has nothing to show after two years in the job. The only thing he seems interested in is pulling stunts, interfering in other Ministers’ briefs’ and re-opening a Garda station which the head of policing in Dublin feels is not the best way forward for meeting the policing needs of the community,” concluded Deputy Troy.