A Dublin Bus driver was severely assaulted and the bus he was driving hijacked before a passenger took control of the vehicle last night.

The driver has been treated for broken bones in his hand and severe bruising.

A man has been arrested.

There were about 15 passengers on board the 56A, which runs from Tallaght to Ringsend, when the bus was hijacked in the Liberties area between 9.30pm-10pm last night.

Earlier two passengers, a man and a woman, were involved in an altercation with the driver.

When he stopped to contact gardaí he was pulled from the bus and beaten.

The bus was then driven down Cork Street in south inner city before being stopped by a passenger who took control of the wheel.

Gardaí arrested the man driving the bus and he is being questioned in Kevin Street Garda Station.

The driver has since been released from hospital after being treated for two broken bones in his hand and severe bruising. He is said to be badly shaken by the incident.

John McGrane of the National Bus and Rail Union has called for action to be taken against attacks on buses and drivers.

Mr McGrane told RTÉ that attacks on buses have increased in frequency. He said that in parts of West Tallaght services have been curtailed due to thirty such attacks taking place.

A spokeswoman for Dublin Bus said that the company is co-operating fully with gardaí in their investigations and expressed concern for the welfare of the driver.