Bus driver faces racial abuse regularly, called a ‘Tan’ and told ‘go home’
Man refused to leave the bus when asked and held passengers up for about 35 minutes
Bernadette Doyle: she began working with Bus Éireann and regularly covers the route between Wexford and Dublin Airport, often travelling late at night. Photograph: Gerard Hore
A Bus Éireann driver has spoken out about the regular abuse she says she suffers while driving her route between Wexford and Dublin Airport.
Bernadette Doyle grew up in London. Her mother was from Wexford and Ms Doyle moved to Crossabeg in 2009. Having driven buses in the UK for a number of years, she began working with Bus Éireann and regularly covers the route to the airport, often travelling late at night.
“I was assaulted back in May and had a tooth knocked out. I was robbed in February. I’m subjected to racial abuse on a near-weekly basis and called a ‘Tan’ and told to ‘go home’,” she said.
Ms Doyle shared a video on social media, which has now been removed, of a man directing verbal abuse at her when he attempted to get on her Wexford-bound bus at about 12.30am on Thursday.
She said he refused to leave the bus when asked and held passengers up for about 35 minutes until gardaí were called.
Ms Doyle said that if were it not for the presence of a colleague, another driver who she was dropping back to Arklow, things could have been a lot worse.
She said gardaí arrived on the scene and arrested the man.
The bus company said in a statement: “Bus Éireann is aware of an incident on our midnight Route 2 service between Dublin and Wexford on Wednesday night (December 18th). We are currently investigating the matter and have been in contact directly with the driver concerned.
“Bus Éireann would like to apologise any passenger impacted by the short delay to the service.”
Ms Doyle said colleagues of hers were also subject to abuse at other times: “You wouldn’t actually believe the amount of abuse that drivers are subjected to.”
Gardaí said they attended a public order incident on Merrion Square, Dublin 2, at 12.30am on Thursday.
“A male, aged in his 30s, was refused passage to a public service bus and became abusive towards staff,” a Garda spokeswoman said. “The man was arrested by gardaí and brought to Pearse Street Garda station. He was later released and dealt with by way of adult caution.”