Miriam Moriarty Owens writes:
I really need to share this and hope you all share it as well [about] what I had to witness yesterday [Thursday]. I was on the number 40 bus from Tralee to Cork to visit my sister [in hospital]. The bus stopped to pick up passengers in Ballyvourney en route. A few people got on. I did notice a very old man. He was carrying a bag. He really did not look well. I would say he was in his early 80s. He was the colour of, well, to but it bluntly, he looked as if he was dying. He sat two rows behind me. About 5 mins later he started to get very sick. What I had to witness and hear has really upset me. I am still very upset. The lynch mob – mostly women – started shouting, ‘get him off the bus’. There was no smell and a woman put newspapers down. He kept saying he was sorry. I was upset for him. But some of the passengers just would not stop [saying] ‘Driver get him off the bus’.
Then the bus stopped in Macroom to pick up more passengers. The driver came down and told him to get off the bus. ‘Go on,’ he said, ‘get off’. I stood up and asked him what he was doing. ‘He cant stay here,’ [the bus driver said]. ‘No,’ I said, ‘the people who don’t want him on the bus are the ones you should get off. He needs to get to a hospital.’ We were only 20 minutes away from one. I tried to ask him his name [but] all I got out of him was Dan Joe. I asked [if] I could phone anyone for him. ‘I have no one,’ he says. ‘Go home’, they were shouting at him. I got very upset.
I said to the driver, ‘if we were sick on a plane, would the pilot throw us off?’ ‘That’s a different matter,’ he replied. The driver should have waited and phoned an ambulance for him. Not a humane bone in his body. [Later] as I got off the bus, I turned around and said ‘I hope you all sleep well tonight, you should be ashamed of yourselves.’ That’s caring Ireland for you [in] 2014. I have reported this matter to Bus Éireann.
Thanks John Murray
Dan Joe is ok. He had severe food poisoning. He went to the hospital and is home safe. Bus Éireann just rang me apologising about the incident I had to witness and made it clear this is not the way if anybody feels unwell. Every driver has a duty of care to every passenger. They are very upset about this whole matter and are dealing with it urgently. I want to thank each and one of you for all your kind messages. A happy ending, Dan Joe is well.