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Hailo suspend "inappropriate" driver after complaints from girl (16)

Karen Reilly and her daughter Abbie (Credit: Herald)
Karen Reilly and her daughter Abbie (Credit: Herald)

Hailo have suspended a taxi driver following allegations by a Dublin teenager that he locked her in his car and made inappropriate comments to her.

The taxi driver was suspended from the popular app, pending investigation, after the 16-year-old's mother, Karen Reilly, complained about the incident to the firm online.

The incident happened on Saturday night when her daughter, Abbie, ordered a cab on the app to get home from her friend's house, the Herald reports. 

Karen said that after a series of inappropriate remarks from the taxi driver "he locked the doors and she felt really uncomfortable".

She called her mum afterwards to tell her what had happened.

"She was crying, I think she got a fright and she was very shaken about it."

Abbie ordered a cab on the app on Saturday night to make it home in time for her curfew.

Her friend took a screenshot of the driver's details when the taxi was ordered, a precaution he always takes, according to her mum.

The journey was supposed to be from the south city to Cabra.

"When she got in he asked her how old she was and if she was good at Maths," Karen told the Herald.

"He said do you know what two plus two is and she said obviously it's four and then he said 'take away, two me and you', stupid things like that," she added.

"Then he locked the doors and she felt really uncomfortable."

The family claim that the driver also made a comment on Abbie's looks.

"She started to feel really uncomfortable and she asked him to let her out but he said no, no he would bring her home.

"He wasn't going to let her out and she ended up shouting at him to let her out," her mum added.

"He said 'I won't talk about Maths anymore'."

"She's a very sensible girl. I've always said to her if you don't feel comfortable get out.

"At her age I probably would have sat there and said nothing," her mum added.

"I made a complaint because I want to make people aware of it," she said.

"He didn't actually do anything to her but it was just his comments, he shouldn't be making those kind of comments to her. She's only a child."

Ms Reilly has been speaking to a garda about the incident and intends to make an official complaint about the driver in question.

"Hailo have been very good, they got in touch with me straight away and they said that they'll help me to make a complaint," Karen said. "It's not their fault. They can't control what every driver does or says."

A spokesman for Hailo said that they removed the driver involved from their network, as is their policy.

"As soon as we were aware of the complaint, we made contact with the person who made the complaint," he said.

"We then identified the driver and the journey in question and immediately removed him from our network," he added.

The company took all allegations very seriously and relied on customer feedback.

"Our policy is to remove drivers when serious complaints are made, pending investigation. We have been in contact with the people involved and are offering them every assistance," they said.

Last night, the Herald spoke to the driver in question who denied that the doors were locked and said that he only refused to let her out because he was concerned for her safety as they were stopped at traffic lights.

He also said that he had not made any inappropriate comments to his passenger during the trip. 

Laura Larkin