Teen's chilling gun threat to 'terrified' Italian riding Dart
A teenage boy carrying a gun issued a chilling threat to a young Italian passenger on a Dart train, leading to fresh calls for transport police to be installed on Irish Rail.
The blond teen, wearing a bulletproof vest, argued with teenage Italian students on a Dart from Howth to the city centre on May 7.
He got off the train at Raheny but, according to a female eyewitness, he then ran at the train window - where one Italian male was sitting - kicked the glass, then pulled his jacket open to reveal what appeared to be the handle of a gun in his pocket.
The youth, who was with a dark-haired boy and two girls of a similar age to him, has not yet been caught and gardai are appealing for public assistance.
A teenage girl who witnessed the incident at around 5.40pm on the bank holiday Monday, said: "A day at the beach turned into the most terrifying experience of my life.
"I was on the Dart and a row started between a group of Italian students and Dublin teenagers.
"One Dublin youth, with another lad and two girls, was particularly threatening towards one Italian lad. He seemed to start having a go at the Italians for no reason.
"The Dublin youths got off the train at Raheny and then the most aggressive lad ran at the window, near where the Italian boy was sitting, and kicked the window.
"He opened his hoodie jacket and I could see he was wearing a bulletproof vest. He pulled the handle of a gun out of his pocket and stared menacingly at the Italian.
"The Italian youth was terrified. He shouted 'pistola'. Thank God the train set off."
The scene the eyewitness described has led to further calls for transport police to be introduced across Irish Rail and a tougher stance to protect passengers and staff.
The latest incident comes after a graffiti gang attacked a Dart in Clongriffin, north Dublin, last month - and after passengers smashed windows on a train while walking along rail tracks after a Liam Gallagher concert at the weekend in Malahide, Co Dublin.
There has been a 43pc surge in anti-social incidents in two years across rail networks, as the National Rail and Bus Union called for the introduction of transport police.
Mark Gleeson, from Rail Users Ireland, said the gun threat was the "most shocking incident" he had ever heard of taking place on a train in Ireland.
"A teenager, in a bulletproof vest, threatens someone with a gun, it doesn't get more scary than that," Mr Gleeson said.
"It could be a fake gun, but that doesn't detract from how terrifying this was.
"If someone was carrying a weapon, wearing a bulletproof vest, that is significant. It's shocking, it's not acceptable.
"We need to see CCTV, photos of these people, posters showing images of those committing offences on Irish Rail, rewards offered for information and successful prosecutions.
"We need transport police and for the full force of the law to be thrown at anyone who commits crime on Irish Rail."
A garda spokeswoman said: "Gardai responded to a call at Raheny Dart Station. They had received a report that a male youth was in possession of a suspected firearm.
"The male was gone when gardai arrived at the scene. Any-one with information should contact Raheny Garda Station on 01 666 4300."
An Irish Rail spokesman said: "Obviously this was a very worrying incident for the customer and extremely rare.
"We take all incidents of antisocial or threatening behaviour very seriously."