NewsCrime Desk

Union boss says "taxi drivers wont give DNA for rape probe"

Union boss says "taxi drivers wont give DNA for rape probe"

Taxi drivers will not willingly hand over DNA samples as part of an investigation into a rape complaint allegedly involving a colleague, says the head of a national taxi union.

Christy Humphreys, General Secretary of the National Private Hire and Taxi Association, said his members would be taken aback by such a request.

More than 80 taxi drivers are being asked to provide DNA samples by gardai investigating an alleged rape in Dublin.

It is the first case of its kind since the DNA database was introduced in November 2015.

The incident allegedly occurred during the early hours of December 11, 2015.

However, Mr Humphreys believes taxi drivers will not go forward to complete the DNA sampling.

"I'm amazed," he said.

"I think people would be upset about it. I imagine taxi drivers won't be willing to volunteer it.

"No, it's too much to ask."

The female victim claimed she was collected from the Harcourt Street area of Dublin by a taxi between 2.30am and 4.30am, and asked to be driven to her home in the north of the city.

She claims she was raped by the driver during the journey and contacted gardai immediately after the incident.

Physical evidence produced a DNA profile of the suspect, which gardai believe matches the identity of the attacker.

CCTV footage subsequently revealed that the suspect drove a Toyota Prius.

Gardai have contacted all 84 taxi drivers believed to be driving a Toyota Prius at the time and asked them to voluntarily produce a DNA sample in order to whittle down the pool of suspects.

However, under the relatively new and untested law, they are not legally required to do so.

Mr Humphreys, whose association represents up to 3,000 Dublin area taxi drivers, said the suspect could come from anywhere and not just the capital.

"There are some drivers who hold three or four taxi licenses from other counties," he said.

"There are approximately 9,000 taxis operating in Dublin, which would be like searching for a needle in a haystack."

Some drivers also rent taxis, so it would mean contacting any driver who drives a Prius, he added.

He also questioned whether the suspect was even a licensed taxi driver, which would mean putting legitimate drivers through an unnecessary ordeal.

He also questioned why it has taken so long for gardai to make the request, given that the alleged attack happened more than a year ago.

"It's a bit peculiar," he said.