Sunday 25 February 2018

‘It happened in five blinks of the eye’- Man passes away on train returning home from Ploughing Championships

A man passed away on board a train travelling from the Ploughing Championships on Tuesday
A man passed away on board a train travelling from the Ploughing Championships on Tuesday
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

A man fell critically ill and died on board an Iarnrod Eireann service after attending the annual Ploughing Championships in Tullamore.

The man in his sixties boarded the special service bound for Cork facilitating the festival on Tuesday evening, but lost consciousness as the train approached Limerick Junction.

Passengers on board the train carried out CPR on the man and a staff member of Irish Rail continued their efforts to save his life using a defibrillator after the train arrived at Limerick Junction.

Emergency services arrived at the scene, but the man was pronounced dead a short time later.

Speaking on the Ryan Tubridy Show on RTE Radio One, a fellow passenger commended Irish Rail for their professionalism in their dealing with the critical situation.

“One of the reasons I called in was to commend Iarnrod Eireann on their professionalism and care for him and the dignity they showed him,” said Rory, a retired teacher from Kenmare who  was also attending the Ploughing.

“I was just chit chatting away to this man and the next thing his friend began making funny noises and good God I couldn’t believe what I saw.

“I thought he was kind of falling asleep and the next thing I knew his friend called me over. He just took his last breath and he was gone. I couldn’t believe it.

“Of course I shouted out loud and people came to my assistance. They sent people up and down the carriage looking for a doctor. We put him down on the floor and did mouth to mouth resuscitation on him but nothing was happening. Eventually a defibrillator came but nobody could use one. People started saying the rosary in the background, they kept at it and were very insistent. When the train arrived at Limerick Junction, a member of Iarnrod Eireann staff came and said I am trained and he took over and worked hard at it. He was marvellous.

“The emergency staff came along and worked hard on him but unfortunately nothing was happening. After some time the doctor came and pronounced him dead,” he said.

In a statement to, Iarnrod Eireann expressed their sympathies to the man’s family: “On Tuesday, Iarnrod Eireann staff were alerted to an incident on board the 16:52 service from Tullamore to Cork, set up to facilitate the Ploughing Championships. Staff on board the train alerted station controllers at Limerick Junction that a man had fallen seriously ill and emergency services were called. A staff member attempted to revive the man using a defibrillator upon arrival. Irish Rail expresses our deepest sympathies with the man’s family.”

Speaking of the incident, fellow passenger Rory assured the man’s family that he wasn’t alone and his passing was very peaceful.

“If his family are listening, I hope they know that he wasn’t alone, people around him were helping him in every way possible and those ladies were continuously saying prayers in the background. His passage was as peaceful as possible.

“It happened in five blinks of the eye.

“To look into his eyes and watch him take his last breath it was unreal. The speed at which it happened, chatting one minute and gone the next.

“It makes you think how tenuous life is. How you can be here one moment and the next, gone. He had a great day obviously at the Ploughing Championship and was in good form and the next thing you know...”

Online Editors

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