Taxpayers count cost of vandalism

Criminal damage to trains and stations across Longford costing tens of thousands each year

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Taxpayers count cost of vandalism

The taxpaying public are forking out tens of thousands of Euro each year to clean up graffiti and damage caused by mindless acts of vandalism to train stations and carriages across the county.

They are just some of the findings contained in a detailed dossier obtained by this newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act.

Over the past four years alone, Irish Rail has said damage to trains and carriages at its two stations in Longford and Edgeworthstown has set it back by almost €52,000.

In total, there have been 22 recorded incidents of damage caused to trains since 2013.

Eighteen of those came via instances of vandalism with another four episodes stemming from graffiti-type offences.

Last year witnessed the high amount of vandalism with no fewer than a dozen violations of criminal damage being recorded.

Five further claims of reported damage were investigated in 2015 with 2014 encountering another four acts of lawlessness.

Incidents logged by staff at both stations over the past four years illustrates the extent of the problem facing Irish Rail when it comes to keeping a lid on vandalism and acts of crime at its two Co Longford stations.

-December 2013: Report received of a window broken of train carriage in Longford

-June 2014: Driver reported graffiti on outside of carriage in Longford.

-July 2014: Longford Station supervisor reported graffiti on the front fuselage of a carriage. The affected train ended up being out of commission and parked up over a busy weekend period.

-August 2014: Eight carriages located in Irish Rail’s Longford yard ahead of a GAA double header in Croke Park was badly damaged by graffiti overnight. A security man on duty approached four youths before they were later apprehended by gardai. It was later discovered that the quartet had approximately 48 cans of spray paint and four crates for standing on to carry out the graffiti.

-November 2014: Station Manager in Longford reported two carriages having been badly damaged during the night in its Longford yard. Youths entered at the Dublin end of the yard away from CCTV footage that was taken. Security personnel on duty disturbed the suspected culprits but fled before gardai arrived at the scene.

-May 2015: Security staff reported to Longford Station Manager of graffiti having been strewn on the last carriage of a train.

-July 2015: Inspector on duty at Connolly Station in Dublin reported a special service arriving from Longford with graffiti on it.

-September 2015: Connolly Station to Sligo District Traction Executove noted graffiti damage to a carriage after the service departed Longford.

-September 2015: Three days later staff revealed graffiti damage to a train carriage which had been primed for an early morning service to Pearse Station.

-November 2015: Chargehand driver in Longford reported noticing graffiti daubings to a carriage in its Longford yard.

-January 2016: Driver on Longford to Pearse Station route recounted evidence of graffiti on an early morning service.

-April 2016: Driver of a 6:15am Longford to Pearse Station service reported graffiti on its leading carriage.

-April 2016: Report received that Irish Rail’s early morning Longford to Connolly Station train contained graffiti spatterings to the off side of its leading carriage.
-June 2016: Report filed of a train carriage sustaining graffiti damage overnight at Irish Rail’s Longford yard.

-June 2016: Five days later, a further report of graffiti having been spray painted to two further carriages again at its Longford yard.

-June 2016: Driver of morning service from Longford to Pearse Station cites graffiti plasterings on one of the service's carriages.

-July 2016: Chargehand at Longford reported evidence of graffiti damage.

-August 2016: Connolly Station Manager reported graffiti on early morning dispatch from Longford.

-August 2016: Longford chargehand driver reported graffiti damage to a carriage overnight

-August 2016: Chargehand driver in Longford for a second time reported spray paint damage to two carriages overnight.

-December 2016: Driver of early service from Longford to Pearse Station communicated graffiti damage to a train parked up in Irish Rail’s Longford yard.

-December 2016: Christmas week saw a driver pass on information of graffiti defacement being visible on a train parked in its Longford yard.