herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Award-winning taxi driver slashed with knife and hit with hammer by three thugs

Taxi driver Paul Cullen (Fergal Phillips)
Taxi driver Paul Cullen (Fergal Phillips)

An award-winning taxi driver was left shaken after he was attacked by three thugs armed with a hammer and blade near his Dublin home.

Paul Cullen (52) was working in north Dublin when he stopped to pick up a fare in Finglas.

After a short journey to the Poppintree area one of the men produced a blade and demanded that he hand over money.

Brave Paul - who had a little over €100 cash on him at the time - refused to give them anything.

He struggled with one of the men as the thug slashed the back of his head and another hit him around the head with what he suspects was a hammer.

The attack happened shortly after 8.30pm on Thursday.

Just two hours earlier a taxi man in his 60s was also robbed by three men.

The Herald understands that a sum of money was taken and that the driver also injured in the incident.

Paul, who has worked as a cabbie for 10 years, said it was the first time he had been assaulted while on the job.

Bruising

Last year, he was nominated by his customers for the 98fm Pride of Dublin awards and walked away with the title of Best Taxi Driver.

He has now been left with bruising to his face and cuts on the back of his head.

Last night, he returned to work despite the attack.

"I'll be nervous for a few weeks, but if I don't go straight back I never will," the dad-of-three said. "I'm shook enough, but it could have been a lot worse."

"It's the only area of Ballymun that has no CCTV."

The thugs sustained the attack for a short time before they left with just Mr Cullen's smart phone, which he later traced to a bin in a nearby estate.

A garda spokeswoman confirmed that gardai were investigating two robberies of taxi drivers in the Ballymun area.

No arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing.

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