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Deliveroo seeks meeting with Gardaí after attacks on its cyclists in Dublin city centre

The cyclists have been targeted by groups of teenagers and young adults.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

DELIVEROO HAS CONTACTED gardaí to set up a meeting after several of its delivery cyclists were threatened, intimidated and assaulted in Dublin city centre over the weekend. 

The incidents occurred in the capital’s north inner city over Friday and Saturday.

Just one has been reported to gardaí who confirmed to TheJournal.ie that they are investigating the attack.

Cyclists for Deliveroo have long been the target of anti-social behaviour in certain areas of the city with groups of young people occasionally assaulting them or attempting to steal their bicycles. 

With tensions having escalated in recent months, TheJournal.ie understands that there have been at least four incidents in the past week where violence against these cyclists was a factor but gardaí said they have a record of just one – meaning that an official statement has not been made to gardaí for at least three other incidents. 

Regarding the reported attack in East Wall on Saturday, a garda spokesman said: “Gardaí are investigating an assault of a male that took place on East Wall Road, just before 5pm on Saturday 30 January 2021. An Garda Síochána encourage all those who feel they have been the victim of a crime to contact An Garda Síochána.”

Deliveroo said it has made contact with An Garda Síochána and is trying to have a meeting with the force to voice their concerns.

The food delivery service has also urged their riders not to accept an order if they have concerns about the location. The firm has reiterated this advice to its Dublin delivery cyclists in recent days. 

The company stressed that the safety of its riders is its priority. 

A spokesperson told TheJournal.ie: “We strongly condemn all forms of attacks or violence on riders. There is no place for this, especially when riders are carrying out a vital role in their communities, helping the public to receive the food they need and want.

“The security and safety of riders is our absolute priority and we take every step to ensure they feel safe when on the road.” 

Stone throwing 

One Irish rider, who spoke to us on condition of anonymity, described how non-national delivery cyclists feel like specific targets in recent months. 

He described how many of the incidents happen around the Dublin 1 area and that he is often “incredibly busy” around this part of the capital as some of the non-Irish “guys do not go near these places anymore”. 

“The guards turned around to a group of us the other day and said ‘what do you want us to do?’ basically,” the rider added.  

Tensions have increased in recent months between Deliveroo cyclists and groups of young people in the D1 and D3 areas. 

The cyclist described one incident recently where he was cycling across the IFSC when a group of teenagers began hurling stones at him. It was only when he pulled down his snood to talk to them that they stopped. 

He said he believes the rocks stopped coming as the group realised he was from Dublin. 

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One Brazilian worker for Deliveroo, Joao, said he will not deliver to areas in the north inner city following serious incidents involving his friends. 

He said: “They call us things. They say ‘go back to Brazil’, they throw things and try to rob our bikes.” 

He said that the young groups are looking out for people who “don’t look Irish”.

Joao said he has been living and studying in Dublin for three years. The pandemic meant he lost his job in a restaurant and he began cycling for Deliveroo. He said he now checks the address of orders with his Irish Deliveroo colleagues, as well as on social media pages set up by Deliveroo cyclists to help to ensure his safety. 

Politicians have now become involved in the debate around cyclist safety following protests and strike action by the riders in recent weeks. The Labour Party’s Marie Sherlock has called on Deliveroo to do more. 

The senator, speaking during a protest last month, said:

“We stand with Deliveroo drivers in their strike across Dublin this evening. These workers are asking Deliveroo for engagement on very basic issues – better pay, conditions and standards.

“Throughout the pandemic, these workers have faced increased workload and additional risks in carrying out their work, yet they are not treated with adequate respect by Deliveroo.”

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