Monday 24 October 2016

Irish driver racially abused by a 'white immigrant' wins case

Anthony Doran won his case of racial abuse against Bus Eireann (Collins)
Anthony Doran won his case of racial abuse against Bus Eireann (Collins)

An Irishman racially abused by a "white immigrant" bus driver has won a legal action for assault in the High Court.

Mr Justice Max Barrett said he accepted that Anthony Doran had thought he was about to be hit by a Bus Eireann driver and had instinctively recoiled.

Doran had appealed a decision from the Circuit Civil Court, which last year dismissed his claim for assault, battery and false imprisonment.

Bus Eireann denied the claim.

Judge Barrett said in a reserved judgment, that in February 2014, Doran's car had broken down near Tara Street, in an area where buses park.

He had pushed his car back to create the maximum space for buses pulling in and had been waiting inside his car for a recovery vehicle.

Doran had alleged that although several buses had manoeuvred around his car without difficulty, one bus came up behind his car and used its horn.

He went to the bus to explain his situation but as the driver had not wanted to open the window he returned inside his car. Doran claimed that shortly afterwards the bus driver drove up and blocked him from opening his car door.


Doran had alleged that as he opened his car window, the bus driver raised his fists and referred to him as a "black boy" before then using crude and obscene language.

Bus Eireann had denied the incident happened in that manner or that the bus driver had used racist language. The company denied Doran had been assaulted and falsely imprisoned by the bus driver.

The court had heard there was a "heated" exchange between the two men after Mr Doran allegedly showed a disrespectful middle-finger gesture to the bus driver.

Judge Barrett said that what most likely happened was that Doran reached his hand out of the car to wave the bus on and this was mistaken as a rude gesture by the bus driver.

"A sad irony in this case is that Mr Doran, an Irishman who is black, was racially abused by a white man who has come to this country from abroad and thus might be exposed - unacceptably, were it to occur - to some form of intolerance," the judge said.

Judge Barrett said he was satisfied the bus driver had committed an assault on Doran, for which the payment of damages must follow.

Bus Eireann came to a financial agreement with Mr Doran, of Charlestown Place, St Margaret's Road, Dublin.

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