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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 4 August, 2020

Irish Rail drivers received no support as families question them at suicide inquests

That’s according to a report carried out by the Railway Accident Investigation Unit.

Image: Shutterstock/RoongsaK

SOME DRIVERS WHO witnessed people jumping in front of trains they were driving received no support from Irish Rail when they were required to go to the Coroner’s Court and questioned by the families of the deceased.

That’s according to an investigation report into signals passed at danger (SPADs) on Irish Rail Networks from January 2012 to June 2015.

It stated, “The drivers who experienced these scenarios found them to be very stressful and found that they had no support from the company when required to attend these courts.”

However, in a statement Irish Rail has denied this saying, “Drivers are always accompanied by at least a supervisor when attending a Coroner’s Court in such situations”.

It did admit that support has improved over the years and that it was not as strong in the past, “It is fair to say that many years in the past, support would not have been as strong as it is today.”

The company added that it’s now an area where “we ensure we provide every support required to all employees, including drivers and those who attend the scene following such tragic incidents”.

The investigation, which was carried out by the Railway Accident Investigation Unit, did note that “in some depots, drivers are well supported through this time”.

Irish Rail continued, “We fully understand that following the trauma of experiencing such an incident that attending a Coroner’s Court can be extremely stressful, and have developed supporting standards to assist drivers, and ensure supervisors and managers are trained and equipped to provide the necessary support.”

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Drivers involved in these incidents are initially offered six counselling sessions. Some of the drivers stated that they required additional support while some felt they did not need the service.


  • Samaritans 116 123 or email
  • Console 1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email – (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

Read: Needles, stabbings and attacks… so why doesn’t Dublin have its own transport police?>

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