Irish Rail incurred expenses of nearly €2 million last year due to incidents of graffiti, vandalism, and similar damages inflicted on its trains and properties.
During that period, the operator dealt with 184 cases of graffiti or vandalism on trains, with the cost of repairing and repainting such damages amounting to €1.73 million – around €9,400 per incident on average. Most of these cases – 166 to be precise – involved damage to the exterior of trains. Only 18 instances related to interior damage within carriages.
Additionally, there were a further 300 reported incidents of vandalism or damage to train stations and railway structures, as reported by BreakingNews.ie.
Irish Rail also spent an additional €156,230 on cleaning or repairing damages to elevators, bridges, electrical infrastructure and more.
Examples of the incidents include multiple vandalised and graffitied shelters, allegedly “offensive” and racially charged messages daubed on shelters, extensive graffiti across a station, sexually explicit graffiti requiring removal, and the inscription of “IRA 2022” throughout a building, which proved resistant to graffiti remover.
The locations of some of these incidents have not yet been revealed as they are the subject of ongoing Garda investigations.
Irish Rail has been forced to take steps in recent years to curb behaviours which some passengers found irritating, such as individuals listening to music without headphones – a practice which was banned on Irish trains since 2019.
New Irish Rail staff to address issues such as passengers playing music without headphones: https://t.co/gqHtZPGi1j pic.twitter.com/lgNP4W0i9y
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) February 10, 2019
In addition, anti-social behaviour is becoming a growing problem on public transport, with Dublin Bus unions halting certain bus routes in the city due to “off the Richter scale” levels of anti-social behaviour and violence.
Unions halt Dublin Bus Tallaght services over 'off the Richter scale' anti-social behaviour https://t.co/Gc20svlO3P
— Irish Examiner (@irishexaminer) January 12, 2023