Gardai are investigating an incident of criminal damage after a group of youths smashed 14 windows on a DART carriage last week in Howth.
The incident happened when the train was preparing to leave the Howth Junction DART station heading in the direction of Raheny, on Friday evening, July 12, at approximately 6.45pm.
A spokesperson for Irish Rail said he was “very disappointed” that the incident took place, saying it is only a “small minority” of people who choose to celebrate periods of good weather in this way.
“We are having great weeks at the moment, particularly weekends in terms of how many people are travelling in the good weather. They are out to enjoy the sun. Unfortunately, there is a small minority that have unsuitable ways to mark the weather.”
Following the incident, the train was taken out of service at Howth to repair the damage and passengers were transferred to another train to continue on their journey. Gardai and Irish Rail private security were called to the scene but the youths had already fled. There were no injuries.
The Irish Rail spokesperson said the windows tend to shatter (as shown in picture) rather than break through. “It would be very unusual for customers to be injured by such activity, but it is disruptive to service,” he said.
Irish Rail provided gardai with CCTV footage from the scene in a bid to identify the youths involved. Gardai have confirmed that there was a search carried out at the scene but that no arrests were made. They also confirmed that the incident is still under investigation. The incident of criminal damage is the latest in a series of anti-social incidents involving groups of youths in the north Dublin coastal areas.
Last month, gardai successfully dispersed a group of 30 youths on the East Pier in Howth who had consumed alcohol. In late May and early June, residents in Portmarnock were concerned following public disturbances caused by crowds of “young revellers” at Portmarnock Strand.
The Irish Rail spokesman said the good weather was a contributing factor to the increase in disturbances in recent weeks.
“There are definitely more people travelling along the DART line with the good weather; a noticeable amount, about 30-40% higher. Families and groups of people are out enjoying the sun. It’s not just on the DART but all public transport. But unfortunately anti-social behaviour can come along with that,” he said.
“We have increased our own private security and we are working with the gardai to identify where the issues may rise.”
Referring to the DART incident in Howth last week, he said, “We hope with the CCTV footage, we can identify those who were involved.”
Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact Raheny Garda Station on 01 6664300.