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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019

A look back at the first woman to drive a Dublin Bus for a living

In 1980, Joan Doran became the first woman to drive a CIE bus since World War II.

PastedImage-40068 Source: RTÉ

THERE WAS ONCE a time when it would have been pretty unusual to board a bus in Dublin which was driven by a woman. Today, however, it’s pretty standard.

The woman we have to thank for that is Ballyfermot native Joan Doran, who first began working for CIE in 1980.

At the time, Joan’s choice of career was documented on RTÉ News, where she spoke to reporter Derek Davis, who said he was assured that:

Mrs. Doran isn’t the first CIE bus driver to wear lipstick and earrings.

Davis continued:

She is the first woman driver on a scheduled run since before The Emergency – or World War II, as it’s sometimes called.

As she was the very first woman to drive for CIE, she had to ‘renovate’ her own uniform, as they were designed solely with men in mind.

PastedImage-27146 Source: RTÉ

Joan told Derek:

Well, I took the trousers apart, and the jacket. I changed the buttons over to my side. I fixed up the trousers, I turned them into ladies trousers.

PastedImage-66033 Source: RTÉ

Joan wasn’t aware of any other women who were training for a similar position at the time, but she said that she hoped she was “blazing the trail” for other women and girls. You can see her full news segment on RTÉ Archives.

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Kelly Earley

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