I get racist abuse on every trip, bus driver tells court
A BLACK Dublin bus driver told a judge yesterday that racist remarks from passengers were a "normal and daily experience" on the buses.
Olayinka Egbesakin told Dublin Bus solicitor Gerard O'Herlihy that one woman passenger had described him as "a monkey" after he had asked her if she had over-ridden her stop. He told the Circuit Civil Court he felt bad on the day it had happened and later, mistakenly, had asked another passenger, Maria Davis, if she had been on his bus earlier when the incident occurred.
He told Judge Jacqueline Linnane he immediately realised his mistake when Ms Davis, of Kilkiernan Road, Cabra West, Dublin, told him she had not been on the bus. "I was mistaken and I immediately apologised but it is part of my job to keep a check on fares," he said.
He told the court the woman who had called him a monkey earlier that day had been wearing a dress similar in colour to the outfit Ms Davis was wearing.
Mr Egbesakin told Mr O'Herlihy he had not accused Ms Davis or her friend, Caroline Laney, of anything.
Ms Davis had sued Dublin Bus in a €38,000 claim for defamation of character. She said she felt people on the bus believed she was a fare evader.
Judge Linnane dismissed Ms Davis's claim with costs against her.