28 October 1999 Edition

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No Irish on Citybus

The Children's Law Centre is to take a case of racial discrimination against Belfast bus company Citybus after two teenagers speaking Irish on a bus were threatened by a bus driver.

The incident occurred six months ago, when the two teenagers were travelling on a Citybus along the Ormeau Road. When the driver heard them speaking Irish, he began to verbally abuse the boys. As they got off the bus, the driver followed them and tried to provoke them into a fight saying: ``Can you fight as good as you talk?''

After the incident, the mothers of the two teenagers contacted their solicitors, who in turn contacted the company.

The reply from Citybus operations manager Frank Clog stated: ``I have now completed my investigations into this matter and can confirm that the driver involved has been disciplined as a result of his misconduct in being abusive to a travelling member of the public. I can further inform you that the company are of the opinion that the employee was acting outside his terms and conditions of employment.''

Despite this, the parents were able to confirm for An Phoblacht that the same driver is still driving for the company on the same route.

When the parents contacted the company to say they were not happy and wanted an apology and compensation, they were sent a free bus pass, valid for a week.

The mothers said: ``The bus company have been dragging their heels over the whole incident, at one stage even taking two months to reply to one of our letters. However, we hope that with the Childrens Law Centre taking on the case we might get somewhere.''

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1