Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

The Dublin-Waterford Train and people who think they have a right to a seat because they paid for it

October 31st, 2007 · 5 Comments · Consumer blogging, Disability, eejit.., Equality, Irish Rail, Uncategorized

I get more than a few visits to the blog – Google is kind to me – lots of google searches for Steve Staunton, Niall McElwee, more recently People in Need land here. This morning a commuter from yesterdays Dublin-Waterford 4.25pm train searched visited and went to the post on signage for people with disabilities on trains. I felt her comment deserves a post of its own to remind us of some of the issues (and absolute wankers) facing those who need a seat on a train.

Thanks for visiting Fionnuala, and thanks for doing what you did on the train yesterday – pity you had to!

I have witnessed something obscenely rude and ignorant on the train yesterday evening.

The 4.25pm train from Dublin to Waterford.
It was very busy (as usual) and there were many people standing, beside me were a very elderly couple, the gentleman had a walking stick and the lady with him was quite frail looking (I later found out that they were both in their nineties!!!) and they were standing while young people all around them could see them and were sitting in seats.

I felt very strongly about this (I had no seat either but I am only 27 years of age and able-bodied so I was well able to stand – not very comfortable but it wasnt going to be a problem for me)
I went to the top of the carriage and in a polite manner asked if there was anyone who was willing to give their seats to this needy couple.

I was met with silence – until a young man said that he would put his seven year old son on his lap and give his son’s seat willingly, I thanked him for this and the elderly gentleman was told by his wife to take the seat (as he had a walking stick)
The train continued on and the elderly lady was still standing, eventually a person was getting off the train and a seat became vacant, I brought the old lady down to the seat and she was delighted as she said that she had been feeling rather unwell and faint due to the long time she had spent standing.
I asked a gentleman in the seat next to it if he could move into the vacant window seat as I didnt think that the elderly lady was going to be able to manouvere herself in past him.

I was met with a glare and then a torrent of the following:

“I have paid for this seat (not reserved)and I think that you have victimised the people in this carriage?
I said to the man (in his thirties and able-bodied) that I thought he was a disgrace, he could see how frail and ill the lady was and he should be ashamed of himself!
He did not agree however and continued to argue his point that I should have done nothing and left it as it was!!!!

To be honest I felt like giving him an absolute torrent of abuse but I held my tongue as the lady was going to get what she needed albeit grudgingly.

The man got off at the next stop and while passing me by (I am still standing at this stage and called me a dogooder!)


I mean for god’s sake this couples need was obvious, glaringly obvious!
What is wrong with people? This couple could easily have been his parents or grandparents!!!

Seriously disheartened by this.

Fionnuala.

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