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Over €500,000 worth of graffiti damage caused to Irish Rail trains this year

Irish Rail figures show more than 200 carriages have been targetted by vandals in the first 10 months of 2021.
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.23 22 Nov 2021


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Over €500,000 worth of graffit...

Over €500,000 worth of graffiti damage caused to Irish Rail trains this year

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.23 22 Nov 2021


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More than €500,000 worth of graffiti damage has been caused to trains since the start of the year.

Irish Rail figures show more than 200 carriages have been targetted by vandals in the first 10 months of 2021.

The rail firm says there's been a "quite significant number" of incidents involving rail carriages - mostly DART carriages - being damaged during this year.

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Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, says the high rate of vandalism is disappointing.

Over €500,000 worth of graffiti damage caused to Irish Rail trains this year

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Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show, he said: "I would much rather the [money] is spent on improving services on board and indeed [train] frequencies, rather than having to clean up after budding graffiti artists."

A text alert system for passengers to report anti-social behaviour was set up in 2019, and Deputy Farrell said new details also reveal types of incidents being reported to that services.

He said: "It's not just graffiti - it's drinking, drug-taking, vandalism on board, attempted theft, harassment, and fighting.

"There were 71 incidents reported to that particular text service [this year so far].

"Regrettably there's similar information being provided to me by Bus Éireann - they reported an 86% increase in malicious damage to their bus fleet in the same period of 2021."

'Organised activity'

Irish Rail spokesperson Barry Kenny told Lunchtime Live a better-coordinated response for anti-social behaviour is now in the pipeline.

The transport company is working to coordinate security systems with Gardai and Dublin City Council in it's new Train Control Centre.

The facility is being built at Heuston Station.

In terms of graffiti specifically, Mr Kenny said: "It's a slightly different issue to anti-social behaviour, but obviously it is criminal damage.

"We've been working with the gardaí in the Dublin Metropolitan Region - where this is concentrated. We've had patrols and indeed we've had a number of arrests."

Mr Kenny said money spent cleaning graffiti is money they'd much rather be spending "on benefits for the customer".

However, he said they don't want to see the situation seen in other European countries where "effectively graffiti isn't cleaned off".

He suggested: "There is, I think, a sense of an unsafe environment when you see that - so it's very important for us that we do remove it as quickly as possible.

"This is quite organised activity - this is not a kind of casual thing that happens.

"We have people specifically flying into here and other countries - we see the same tags in a number of countries - to vandalise public transport vehicles."

He added that Irish Rail hopes to see arrests and prosecutions of those responsible for vandalising trains.

Main image: File photo. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

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