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Translink investigate staff member sectarian chants claim

Derry railway station. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

Translink is investigating claims that one of its staff joined loyalist bandsmen chanting sectarian slogans and singing on the Derry to Belfast train.

A company spokeswoman confirmed a passenger travelling on the train on Saturday had complained after a number of bandsmen started singing sectarian songs after boarding the train at Ballymoney.

The passenger claimed the bandsmen started chanting "kill all taigs" and "kill all fenians". When he tried to move to a separate carriage, he found more bandsmen there. The passenger said he approached a Translink staff member who, he claimed, had been singing along with the bandsmen.

The Translink spokeswoman said: "We were made aware of the complaint. We have had to download CCTV and we wouldn't have been able to complete that until (Tuesday) afternoon."

The spokeswoman said the CCTV footage would be reviewed and a detailed interview with the staff member would be carried out. She said the result of the investigation was unlikely to be known until later this week.

SDLP MLA, John Dallat called on Translink to conclude its investigation as quickly as possible.

He said: "If these allegations are found to be true, Translink must take decisive action. Everyone has worked far too hard first to save the Derry to Belfast line and then to make it so popular. It would be terribly wrong if people's right to travel suffered by such disgusting behaviour."

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