A passenger called 'a liar' by an inspector has settled a defamation case against Irish Rail

The woman was fined €100 when the conductor refused to accept her email ticket receipt.

By Ray Managh

A 27-YEAR-OLD STORE manager has settled a €75,000 defamation claim against Irish Rail for an undisclosed sum in the Circuit Civil Court.

Marie Varley told her counsel Kevin D’Arcy she had booked a Westport to Claremorris train ticket online. When she turned up at the Westport station the train was about to leave and she had no time to obtain a print-out of her e-mail reservation.

She claimed that while on the train, a ticket inspector refused to accept her email as appropriate to allow her to travel to Claremorris.

The inspector had told her he would give her a chance to get off at Roscommon to print it and if she failed to do so he would issue a €100 fine.

When she got off at Roscommon the cashier there told her to get back on the train as the e-mail was sufficient as proof of a ticket. The inspector had obtained her reservation number and tapped it into the ticket machine which then read “unknown number”.

Varley stated that the inspector told the cashier: “She is lying and messing around with numbers.” She said she was in tears at this stage and said she had most certainly paid for her ticket.

D’Arcy, who appeared with O’Regan Little solicitors for Varley, told Judge Pat Quinn that Varley had then been permitted to get back on the train where a discussion had taken place between her and the inspector.

Varley said the inspector had then told her, “You’re lying and you’re getting a €100 fine, now get back to your seat.” She alleged the inspector had pushed her.

The Irish Rail inspector involved in the alleged incidents gave evidence in which he denied pushing Varley or having spoken the words she alleged he had.

After Judge Quinn said he would rise for a few minutes the parties engaged in talks in the corridor. A short time later D’Arcy told the court the case had been settled and could be struck out with costs to the plaintiff.

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