Thursday 20 October 2016

Carjack taxi driver: 'I no longer feel safe working but I'm too old to change my job'

Feargal MacEoin
Feargal MacEoin
Feargal MacEoin

A Dublin taxi driver whose car was hijacked by two men in the early hours of the morning says he no longer feels safe working but is too old to change profession.

In a victim impact statement, Feargal MacEoin said he was subjected to a "horrific ordeal" when he decided to take one last fare coming off the M50 at 2.20am on May 8 last year.

Mr MacEoin, who was also the victim of a separate work-related assault in January last year, said he was "totally shaken and terrified" when two passengers threatened to stab him after he drove them to Laurel Lodge, Castleknock.

Andrew Byrne (29), of Fortlawn Avenue, Clonsilla, was sentenced to three years for unlawfully seizing Mr MacEoin's car by force. He had pleaded guilty to the offence, as well as to producing a knife.

Judge Martin Nolan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court said Mr MacEoin's peace of mind had been severely affected.

Co-accused Ross Cahill, of Portrane Road, Donabate, was previously sentenced to five years with the final two suspended.

Gda Peter Foley said Mr MacEoin was flagged down by two men and initially refused the fare as he wanted to go home.

But they insisted he drive them to Castleknock and said they would pay him €5. On arrival at their destination, one of them got out of the cab and walked around to Mr MacEoin's side on the pretence of paying.


Instead, he opened the driver's door, grabbed the keys and encouraged the other passenger, who had produced a knife, to stab Mr MacEoin.

Mr MacEoin managed to send a distress signal to his base on the radio before getting out of the car. Gardai later spotted it in the Howth area and arrested Byrne and Cahill.

Mr MacEoin said that ever since the attack, he has found every fare very stressful and "doesn't know where to feel safe".

Byrne has 71 previous minor offences including assault, drugs offences, possession of knives and criminal damage.

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