BUS EIREANN has apologised to a customer after a rodent was spotted on one of its buses in Limerick city.
This Wednesday, UL journalism student Mike Finnerty was taking the 304 bus from William Street to the University of Limerick.
Mr Finnerty observed that since he was travelling on the much maligned 304 route, that an erratic service was expected, but not a rat on the service – or even a mouse.
"By my own admission, I was on my phone, it wasn't until I saw a light from the corner of my eye did I look up," Mr Finnerty told the Leader.
"Someone was recording a little rodent in the corner and posting it on Snapchat. Some people would usually run off screaming at such a sight, but in that moment I felt a serene peace with myself and my fellow commuters as we documented our little rodent friend.”
He posted a video to Twitter, remarking "I don't remember this scene in Ratatouille", a reference to the 2007 Pixar film about a rat in a Parisian kitchen.
"At one stage, we decided to try help the little thing out, so one of the other passengers tried to pick him up with a ticket stub and let him out, like one would do with a fly in the house," Mike told the Leader.
I don't remember this scene in Ratatouille pic.twitter.com/1GUHe6Ei6A— Mike Finnerty (@MikeCJF) September 11, 2019
"Ultimately, he couldn't do it, so he alerted the driver at the stop just before the Parkway that there was a rodent on the bus."
The driver stopped for a minute in an attempt to let it out, but the tiny rodent passenger stayed on.
"Perhaps he just really wanted to go to Stables," joked Mr Finnerty, in reference to the University of Limerick bar.
Mr Finnerty promptly emailed Bus Eireann, and received a reply this Thursday morning that the 2018-registered bus would be "removed from public service and and is currently in our maintenance department for examination and deep cleaning".
"In Bus Éireann our aim is to provide the best possible travelling experience to our customers and I regret your expectations were not met on this occasion," the email read.
"It's very easy to complain about Bus Eireann - God knows I have - but they reacted very quickly here," Mr Finnerty said.