Mother criticises Irish Rail after teenagers are left in Dublin with no way home
IARNRÓD Éireann has defended its decision to fine two transition year students from County Limerick who failed to produce valid student ID cards while travelling to Dublin at the weekend.
The pair – who are both aged 16 – were travelling from Limerick Junction to Heuston Station ahead of the Guinness PRO 12 final when they were asked by a ticket inspector to produce student ID around an hour into the journey.
While the teenagers had valid train tickets which had been purchased online beforehand, they did not have student ID cards.
While they were allowed to continue their journey to Dublin, their (train) tickets were confiscated and a €100 on-the-spot fine issued.
Both students, who live in the South East of the County, were also required to pay an additional €47.30 – the full price of an adult ticket for the journey.
The mother of one of the boys told the Limerick Leader what happened “rattled” the two boys and ruined their day.
While she accepts the decision of the inspector was “technically correct” she has questioned the way Iarnród Éíreann handled the matter – particulary as the boys were not accompanied by an adult.
The woman, who has also contacted Deputy Niall Collins about the matter, has criticised the company for not contacting either of the boys’ parents to inform them what had happened.
She says she has also raised the matter with the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, and has contacted Iarnród Éireann directly.
“In this day and age with everything that is going on I find it hard to believe that somebody didn’t even think to pick up the phone to contact their parents to explain what happened. My serious issue here is that Irish Rail confiscated rail tickets from two sixteen years old who were travelling alone and left them unaccompanied in Dublin with no way of getting home,” she said.
The woman, who says she intends appealing the on-the-spot fine, told the Limerick Leader a relative of one of the boys had to drive to Dublin to collect them on Saturday evening after the match at the Aviva Stadium had finished.
When contacted in relation to the matter, Barry Kenny of Iarnród Éireann said student tickets cannot be purchased without the buyer acknowledging the need for a valid student identification card to be produced if requested.
“When you are booking a student ticket online or at the ticket machine you cannot proceed without acknowledging that a student ID card is required and student cards are available for second level students and not just college students,” he told the Limerick Leader.
According to Iarnród Éireann policy, anybody aged 16 or over is required to pay an adult fare if they do not have a valid student ID card.
“It is very clear the ticket purchase cannot proceed without somebody acknowledging that popup (window) and it cannot proceeding without somebody acknowledging that a student card is required and that didn’t happen (in this case) so the fine was correctly applied along with the adult fare (€47.30),” said Mr Kenny.
He added that it is the responsibility of all customers to have the correct ticket when travelling by train and to travelling in the appropriate manner.
If the appeal by the two students is rejected, it is open to the company to initiate proceedings against them in the District Court.