A senior staff member at Athlone Railway Station was assaulted in an unprovoked attack in the early hours of Wednesday morning, July 3.
The station controller was attacked after he tried to stop a highly intoxicated man from accessing the 5.15am first commuter train to Dublin, after earlier seeing him begging passengers for money.
The controller was taken by ambulance to A&E in Ballinasloe, but released shortly afterwards without serious injury.
The assailant was restrained by other members of staff and detained until gardaí arrived a few minutes later.
“They were very good. They came flying. They were very quick to arrive. They’re very good for coming down here when we have any bother,” said station master, Ms Margaret Larkin.
“Anytime we have any problems, or anyone suspicious, the Gardaí will always be called. Also if there is any anti-social behaviour on board a train,” she explained.
“This is the first time we’ve had this [a staff assault], thank God, and we don’t want it again,” she added.
Ms Larkin confirmed there were four other staff to restrain the attacker, who was not known to the Gardaí, but believed to be from a town in Kildare.
“We’re well covered by CCTV, very well covered,” she added when asked if the assault was caught on camera.
“This is the first of this nature, and I’ve been here a while,” she said.
A Garda source confirmed a man was arrested for the public order offence, and “a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the assault”.
“He was charged and released [on bail] to appear at Athlone District Court at a later date,” said the Garda spokesperson.
In an unrelated issue, gardaí in Athlone are seeking witnesses, or anybody who may have seen anything untoward, in the vicinity of Beechpark West in the afternoon and evening of June 27, after two homes were broken into in “broad daylight”.
“With one house the front door was forced in, while the other had a side window broken sometime between 3pm and 9pm,” said the spokesperson.
Information can be given in confidence to gardaí on (090 ) 6498550