Saturday 29 November 2014

Irish schoolboy spends mid-term delivering food to activists

Published 24/02/2014 | 02:30

Sunday 23 February 2014. Tadhg O'Maonaigh (14) Blackrock, has just returned from Kiev, Ukraine where he was visiting his grandmother.
Tadhg O Maonaigh, who has just returned from Kiev. Violence broke out while he was visiting relatives.

SPENDING the mid-term break in a warzone has made one Irish schoolboy glad to be back to homework and a normal routine.

Just a few days ago, Tadhg O'Maonaigh (14) from Blackrock, Co Dublin, was among those on Independence Square in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, delivering food and supplies to brave protesters.

He had flown over to be with his Ukrainian mother, who is working in the capital, for the mid-term break when violence unexpectedly broke out.

With their home just one kilometre away from Independence Square, the sound of gunfire and explosions was a regular occurrence – and he could see black smoke rising over the city. "I was quite afraid at times," admitted Tadhg. "I was worried about how long this was going to go on for, and whether I was going to be able to get back to school – I have my Junior Cert this year," he added.

Meanwhile, he said he feared for the people of Ukraine.

"My grandparents live outside the city and about 10 busloads of Titushkis (government paid thugs) were let out there and allowed to ravage the city, beating people up," he said.

He revealed that he knows several Ukrainian boys just two or three years older than he himself who were fighting among the protesters.

"I was very proud to be there delivering supplies. There were people of all ages. Some [of the] people were very wealthy, coming in nice cars and poor people [too] – all proud to be doing something to help their country."

Now Tadhg is bracing himself for all the queries about his adventurous mid-term break that he will be receiving back at Blackrock College.

Nicola Anderson

Irish Independent

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