A woman has told how she and her friends were recently left on the train “stunned” after an unopened bottle of wine was taken from their luggage by security.
Rainne traveled the Irish Rail from Dublin to Westport on Friday 24 June at 12:45pm with a group of friends aged ’60 and 70′ to celebrate her 70th birthday.
Ahead of the train’s departure, Grainne said she had posted a picture on Instagram of a picnic basket she had prepared containing a bottle of Prosecco and tagged Irish Rail in the post.
Grainne said she suspected Irish Rail tagging in the post could result in security coming to their seats just before departure.
She said she left her bottle of Prosecco at home, but her friend brought a bottle of wine with her.
“We’re on board the train and minutes before departure, an OCS security guard who works on behalf of Irish Rail came up to us and said, ‘Do you have any alcohol?'” said Grainne.
“We said yes because my friends had a bottle of wine. She said no alcohol is allowed on the Irish Rail. We said ok we won’t drink it.
“She said I’m sorry I hate this part of my job but I have to take it on.”
Grainne said she thought the social media post alerted the security team because her friend’s wine was “in a sealed bag” and they didn’t have any other alcohol on their tables.
She said they had been informed they could collect the wine at Heuston Station when they returned to Dublin this Sunday, but also said the train “doesn’t run until you hand it over”.
“We felt kind of threatened and didn’t really want to make a scene and call the guards for a bottle of wine,” she added.
Grainne said she and her friends were even more upset when other passengers were seen drinking alcohol throughout the ride.
She asked why the others weren’t stopped too and whether Irish Rail passengers can no longer bring alcohol in their luggage, even if they bring someone a ‘bottle of whiskey’ as a gift.
In a statement released to Independent.ie, a spokesman for Irish Rail said: “We put in place a policy during the pandemic that alcohol was not allowed on board our services at any time. This has been maintained as part of measures to prevent anti-social behavior on board and during the continued lack of onboard catering services.
“We do not and have not used our social media in the manner described. I can only surmise that at some point in the station a security officer or staff member saw that one member of the group was carrying alcohol.
The spokesman added that the customer’s mail from that date was in fact not marked Irish Rail.
“I understand that a group later boarded the train consuming alcohol and I understand the anger this caused. I can assure the customer that if the group had boarded in Heuston, the security team who would have met her would have confiscated that alcohol as well.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/the-trains-not-moving-til-you-hand-it-over-woman-claims-unopened-bottle-of-wine-removed-from-luggage-by-irish-rail-security-41830979.html ‘The train won’t run until you hand it over’ – Woman claims unopened wine bottle was removed from luggage by Irish Rail security staff