Wednesday 26 October 2016

The boy on the train: Thomas Conway (19) thanks people for praise over viral note

Published 17/07/2015 | 13:15

Irish Rail train
Irish Rail train

Thomas Conway was shocked to see that he was the subject of a note written by a fellow Irish Rail passenger commending him for being such a “wonderful person”.

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Tipperary native Thomas was scrolling through his news feed when he noticed a friend ‘liking’ an article on the Facebook page. Upon further investigation, he realised that he was the subject of that article.

“It's ironic really - the only reason I was on Facebook was that I couldn't sleep due to a bit of anxiety I was having,” the 19-year-old told

Thomas was on board the Tuesday evening Dublin - Cork train when a fellow passenger overheard his conversation with an elderly couple.

Read more: Irish Rail passenger's sweet message to young man on train goes viral

The woman, a teacher, later took to Twitter to praise the young man and commend him on his courage to talk about mental health and his positive outlook on life.

“I love a good chat and so did the elderly couple opposite me,” Thomas revealed. “We were an ideal partnership for the journey. I'm sure any young person would have done the same were they in my position.”

Thomas, who lives in Ballina, Co Tipperary, chatted with the man and woman for the length of the journey.

“It really was great to have such a an open conversation. They were a genuinely lovely couple, great GAA fans like myself.

“I did notice the woman across from us as I was leaving the train. I think I saluted her, at least I hope I did anyway. That was extremely kind of her to mention me and I'd love to contact and thank her if you happen to know who she is.”

Thomas said he would love to contact the couple he was talking to on the train, but all he knows is that they live in Doon, Co Limerick.

“I don't want to heap praise on myself or anything, because I think this little event was a sign of the times. Respect for our elders, and indeed everyone around us, has always been a fundamental value of humans and I believe it's growing amongst young people,” Thomas stated.

“As well as that, the fact that we could have such a broad and deep conversation, touching on issues like mental health, shows how much Ireland has evolved. There's now a far greater tolerance of these things and much more mutual respect for them.”

Thomas, who hopes to gain enough points in his Leaving Certificate to study Politics and French at third level, added that he was touched by the positive feedback the initial story had received.

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