Irish News

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Karate kid who saved father from raging bull saw him being thrown 'like a ragdoll'

Father sustained broken cocyx and chest injuries - he was confined to bed for 10 days

Published 13/03/2014|08:56

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John O'Donoghue. Credit: Avondhu Press

A YOUNG karate champion who fought off a bull who was goring his father has been honoured for his extraordinary bravery.

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John O'Donoghue (16) from Mitchelstown saved his father Joe from the “savage” attack by the 520kg beast last summer.

Using martial arts skills, John grabbed the bull and used the ring in its nose to subdue the animal.

Today, he told Newstalk's Pat Kenny: "I seen the bull on top of my father below in the field."

"My father was following the bull 30 feet behind him by [the bull] just turned in the blink of an eye and knocked him."

"The bull was on top of my father and he was leaning in on his chest. I left the jeep and started sprinting and I roared to Eugene my brother to bring the jeep down."

With remarkable calm and quick-thinking, John grabbed the bull's head and nose to distract him.

"I grabbed the bull around the neck and caught the ring [in his nose] and I twisted his head sideways."

"And then my father reached up to pull down his eyelids, because he knew about how to subdue an animal."

"I got my father up from underneath him and my brother had the jeep brought down."

Joe and John decided to race for the safety of the jeep - with Joe instructing John to run away first.

"My father was still holding the bull and he just ran for the jeep...and the bull followed him around the back of the jeep and just hit him up in the air like a ragdoll."

"I ran out of the jeep again. The bull was on top of him again and he was going at his chest. My father was injured."

The bull was so enraged that he started knocking against the jeep.

"The bull had a go at the jeep ... and my brother drove the jeep out the field."

Joe sustained a broken cocyx and chest injuries and he was confined to bed for 10 days after the incident.

"He's grand. At the time he broke his cocyx and he had damaged tissue in his chest area and he was badly bruised."

"You realise how lucky you are."

He joked: "The bull is gone to Burger King."

John is also an All-Ireland karate champion with Kildorrery and he plays hurling with Ballygiblin.

He was among nine winners at the North Cork Garda Division Youth Achievement Awards last night at Mallow GAA club.

Irish Independent

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