Irish police probe taxi ordeal over 50 cent
Gardai are investigating a complaint by an 18-year-old student that she was subjected to a terrifying ordeal by a taxi driver over an alleged debt of 50 cent.
The Limerick woman, who is a first-year student at NUI Galway, was recovering at her family home over the weekend after being driven away in the back of a taxi, without knowing where she was being taken.
Liz (not her real name) and three friends had taken a taxi on the five-minute journey from their accommodation to Eyre Square, in the centre of Galway city, last Thursday.
The trip always costs €8 and the women had each paid €2 and were getting out of the taxi when the driver started to shout at them, said Liz.
She was the only passenger remaining when the driver, who is a foreign national, drove off.
"He was shouting. He seemed to be saying that I owed him 50 cent. My friends got a terrible fright and contacted gardai who were at Eyre Square.
"The driver drove around for 10 minutes, shouting," said the shaken student.
Liz got a call on her mobile from one of her anxious friends and she put it on speaker phone to let the driver know gardai had been alerted.
Liz said she did not have any change and only had a €50 note, which she threw at the driver. When he halted the car to pick it up she fled from the vehicle.