Dublin Bus ordered to pay €7,500 compensation to passenger over homophobic insults

The passenger alleged that a driver had repeatedly used gay slurs on a number of occasions as he travelled on the bus.

A yellow bus drives down a city street
Image: Nico Baum

A passenger who alleged that a Dublin Bus driver repeatedly used homophobic insults against him has seen the company ordered to pay him €7,500 in compensation.

The man said that on separate occasions over a period of a few months, from November 2017 into 2018, the driver had used words such as “faggot” and “schizo” and had said “go on, you queer” as he was getting off the bus.

In their response to the compensation claim, Dublin Bus denied those words had been used but admitted that relations between the driver and the passenger had become antagonistic over a period of time.

The company stated that the passenger was a regular on the driver’s route and had repeatedly paid the wrong fare. They allege that when the driver had challenged him over repeatedly avoiding the correct fare that it “provoked a grossly exaggerated reaction of outrage”. The passenger, who they claim has over 75,000 followers on Instagram, then alleged began to repeatedly film and photograph the driver for social media, labelling him “a bully” and “homophobic”.

Dublin Bus also allege that this filming of the driver continued outside work hours and included the passenger recording the driver and shouting names at him in front of passersby. The driver, who went on sick leave for three months attributing it to stress from the passenger’s threatening behaviour, has also made complaints to the Gardai about the situation.

Rory McGrath of the Workplace Relations Commission, however, found that “the interactions with the driver took place as described by the complainant.” Dublin Bus were then ordered to pay compensation on behalf of the driver. McGrath added, “from the evidence adduced, particularly in the terms used by the driver, I am satisfied that the alleged discrimination and harassment was because of the complainant’s sexual orientation.”

McGrath continued, “I also find that he was refused service on several occasions when the bus driver refused him access to his bus or drove by the complainant denying him access to the bus.”

While Dublin Bus noted the findings of the Workplace Relations Commission, they have decided that no disciplinary action will be taken against the driver. The passenger, who had stated that the situation had made a huge impact on his life and mental health, said that he was “very happy with the outcome” of the case.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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