Rudrumun Gopal (21), a student at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), twice attacked his girlfriend of four months, leaving her with bruises and marks “consistent with being punched, kicked, bitten and grabbed”
[Defence barrister Justin McQuade] “He was utterly infatuated with this young lady, he thought he had met the woman of his dreams…” He became “slightly controlling and his frustrations spilled out”.
The judge [Justice Hugh O'Donnell at Dublin District Court] ordered €5,000 to be contributed to both the Simon Community and Women’s Aid.
He struck the case out and said the money had to be paid by the end of the week.
Cousins, Joseph and Anthony Blair, 19 and 21, respectively are native speakers of Irish Gaelic. Ms McAleer said: “My cousins were just talking to each other in Irish, which is their first language.
“The taxi driver turned around and said to them ‘Stop speaking in that language’.
“We didn’t really know how to take it. He said: ‘When you are in Britain, it is English you speak.’
“I said to the driver ‘Excuse me’, shocked that somebody would say that to them.”
I said: ‘That is out of order’.
“He then said: ‘If they want to speak in that language they can get out of my taxi.’
So we got out and said we wouldn’t pay.”
Initially the company’s Paul Muir insisted the incident related to what he called drunken passengers who had been at a city concert the previous day who had allegedly intimidated an elderly driver and been asked to leave the car.
However, after being told Ms McAleer was reporting an incident a day before the concert, he said he would not comment.
But before doing so he said: “I couldn’t imagine four people coming over from Donegal and going to a party in Britain and not being drunk”.”