Dublin buses to go slow after attacks on drivers and conductors by youths armed with knives, bottles and chains.

Violent assaults on Dublin city busmen have escalated at an alarming rate.

In protest against violent assaults on Dublin City bus conductors and drivers, late night services on certain routes have been curtailed.

Violent attacks on bus crews, particularly those working on late night buses at the weekend, have increased at an alarming rate. In protest, and for self protection, late night services on certain troubled routes have been laid off. This is in spite of the fact that dropping these hours mean the affected crew are losing pay.

It is not just attacks on staff that is a problem, there are also skirmishes on the buses between rival gangs. There are often incidents where a conductor may have to choose between trying to enforce a fare and be assaulted or letting the troublemakers ride for free.

Two trade union officials from the National Busmen's Union (NBU), which represents the majority of bus drivers and conductors in Dublin, speak on behalf of their members, who are too fearful of reprisals to be interviewed on the matter.

Tom Darby, General Secretary of the NBU says nowadays there is no respect for the Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) uniform. Groups of people using the bus after attending a nightclub may be carrying an array of weapons.

So when they come on the bus well, then they’re going to have a free for all, and of course they’re going to have a go as I say, at the conductor or the driver, incidentally we’ve had drivers assaulted while they’ve been driving buses.

Society has become more violent and the existing laws are no longer fit for purpose and need up dating to deal with the current levels of violence. The responsibility to protect the bus crews lies with An Garda Síochána. They give limited guarantees but they cannot exclusively provide support to the bus crew, nor is their support always adequate as they have other citizens to protect.

However, it is possible for communities to put pressure on the culprits. This method was successful in Ballyfermot where there were a number of assaults taking place. The church got involved and priests gave sermons from the pulpit and community association educated people and

As a result it's a few years now since we've had assaults in Ballyfermot.

The partial go slow in certain areas may result in communities putting pressure on their young people to behave better.

They do not want to continue the partial ban on certain routes as they do not believe it solves the problem

There will have to be some other way of doing it and it will have to be done through legislation.

PM was a magazine series reporting on aspects of Irish life with interludes for music from Irish performers.  It first began on Tuesday, 20 September 1977 and was initially aired three nights a week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7 pm on RTÉ 1. The original presenters John O’Donoghue, Áine O’Connor, Nicholas Coffey and Doireann Ní Bhriain were later joined by Pat Kenny. PM ran until Thursday, 12 April 1979.

This episode of PM was broadcast on 22 March 1978. It was filmed in Dublin’s central bus station Busáras, The reporter is Áine O’Connor.