Man loses claim over ‘racist’ abuse by Dublin bus driver

Motorist took case against Bus Éireann over alleged false imprisonment and assault

Anthony Doran, of Charlestown Place, St Margaret’s  Road, Dublin, pictured leaving the Four Courts  after his Circuit Civil Court claim for damages was dismissed. Photograph: Collins Courts

Anthony Doran, of Charlestown Place, St Margaret’s Road, Dublin, pictured leaving the Four Courts after his Circuit Civil Court claim for damages was dismissed. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A Dublin man who alleged he had been assaulted and racially abused by a bus driver has lost a €75,000 damages claim against Bus Éireann for false imprisonment, assault and battery.

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said he accepted a Bus Éireann driver had been “apoplectic” when he approached Anthony Doran’s car, which was parked in a designated bus area, in February 2014.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Judge Groarke said unpleasantries had been exchanged between the two men but Mr Doran had failed to establish false imprisonment, assault and battery. The claims had been denied by Bus Éireann.

The court had heard Mr Doran’s car had broken down near Tara Street, Dublin, and he had had no alternative but to park his car in the bus area, while he was waiting for a recovery vehicle.

Mr Doran, of Charlestown Place, St Margaret’s Road, Dublin, alleged that although several buses had manoeuvred around his car without difficulty, one bus came up behind his car and used its horn.

He said he approached the bus to explain his situation but as the driver had not wanted to open the window, he returned inside his car. Mr Doran claimed that shortly afterwards, the bus driver came near him and blocked him from opening his car driver’s side door.

Mr Doran alleged that as he opened his car window, the bus driver raised his fists and said “you get out of my way now,” before racially abusing him.

Barrister Jeri Ward, for Bus Éireann, said the company denied the incident happened in that manner or that the bus driver had used racist language.

Ms Ward told the court a “heated” exchange had happened between the two men after Mr Doran allegedly showed a middle finger gesture to the bus driver.

Counsel told Judge Groarke, who today dismissed Mr Doran’s claim, that the company denied he had been assaulted and falsely imprisoned by the bus driver.

Judge Groarke made no order for costs against Mr Doran.