herald

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Taxi drivers clash in car park over radio race row

A radio debate between taxi drivers in Louth led to a full-on confrontation in the station's car park.

The argument began on Monday morning when LMFM ran a lead item concerning the rivalry between foreign and Irish taxi drivers in the area.

Kevin Faulkner of the Drogheda Taxi Drivers' Association said on air that every complaint he heard from a passenger concerned foreign drivers who "speak little English, don't know the geography of the area, have lost their photographic ID or claim it has been stolen."

Mr Faulkner also said he could not pursue the complaints "because they all look much the same to the general public" -- an opinion which divided listeners.

The controversial exchanges reached a high following the claims that foreign taxi drivers are ignoring regulations.

The following day, hordes of taxi drivers began to park in front of the station before the show went on air.

"As we came up to 10am and the halfway point in the programme, I decided to move the show to the car park to speak to as many people as we could," said programme controller Eamon Doyle.

Among those in the crowd was Fiona Arowobusoye, who said her Nigerian taxi driver husband had been the subject of abuse from local drivers.

"This issue is so unfair and makes life hard. We are all trying to survive.

"Black people are being looked down on as crooks and cheats," she said.

Local driver Pat Quinn said foreign drivers were parking illegally outside pubs and ignoring designated ranks.

Mr Faulkner said that he will call a meeting of all the town's taxi drivers and asked that African drivers attend as well.

cmcbride@herald.ie

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