Carrick man was “prisoner” on bus!

17 December 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Exclusive by PATSY McARDLE

A FORMER popular Cavan-Monaghan Fine Gael TD and Senator claimed yesterday he suffered the ordeal of “a prisoner” on a public service coach while on a return journey from Dublin Airport to his home in Carrickmacross.

Former South Monaghan politician Mr. Bill Cotter, 67, claimed the driver of an Ulster Bus, which operates a daily service between Derry and
Dublin Airport, , refused to allow him alight from the coach, at a junction to Carrickmacross last Monday.

Mr. Cotter who is now actively involved in the promotion of international golfing activity, claimed that after passing through Ardee, the driver refused to stop the bus at the Carrick bypass to allow him to get off—even though he pointed out how other drivers previously obligingly stopped the coach to facilitate his exit..

“It was unreal….the driver insisted he could not stop, to allow me to alight, and insisted that I must remain on the bus, even beyond the next town, which was Castleblayney”.

“He also refused to stop at a bypass- link at Castleblayney, and I was literally a prisoner on the bus, until it reached Monaghan town—some thirty kilometres away from my home town”.

Mr. Cotter, a former Carrickmacross school principal, was elected to the 26th Dail as a Fine Gael TD in 1989, but lost his seat in 1992. However, he was subsequently elected to Seanad Eireann on the Labour Panel, but later retired from politics, to pursue a further successful international career in business golfing.

Mr. Cotter said his nightmare experience began after he boarded the Derry Express bus at Dublin Airport around 10.20 a.m. which he previously frequently used “without any problems“ and was always dropped off, beside his requested home destination.

“I tried to persuade the driver that it would only take a minute to allow me to alight, but he was adamant I must remain on the bus for the extra 30 kilometres”.

“I actually felt quite ill but managed to keep my restraint all the way despite the feeling that I was a prisoner on the bus, as a result of the driver’s quite unreasonable attitude, which, to say the least, I considered to be nothing short of inhumane”, Mr. Cotter said.
Mr. Cotter indicated he was making a formal complaint to Ulster Bus over the incident, and was also acquainting Bus Eireann, as a matter of courtesy, over what occurred on the North-South service route, hoping to get a full investigation.

Mr. Cotter boarded the North-bound coach at Dublin Airport at 10.20 a. m. after his arrival on an international flight into the airport.

But although it normally takes him just about an hour to reach his home, he was unable to get back to his residence until nearly 1 p.m. having being forced to obtain another direct provincial Bus Eireann bus link back from Monaghan town to Carrickmacross.
There was no one available at Ulster Bus yesterday to comment on the former Oireachtas member’s complaint.

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