Wednesday 26 June 2019

Kind-hearted Niall wins Iarnród Eireann People's Choice award

Iarnród Eireann chief executive Jim Meade presenting Niall Fox with the People’s Choice award
Iarnród Eireann chief executive Jim Meade presenting Niall Fox with the People’s Choice award

Bill Browne

The willingness of a staff member working at Charleville Train Station to go above and beyond the call of duty has earned him the People Choice award at the annual Iarnród Eireann Customer Service Awards.

Originally from Fair Hill in Cork city but now living in Freemount, Niall Fox has held several roles within the company over the past 18 years and currently works as a depot person at Charleville Station. 

Niall received the special award through a combination of customer feedback and nominations from colleagues and for consistently adhering to his simple ethos of 'it's nice to nice'. 

Niall told The Corkman that this comes from a piece of advice he was given by a former colleague when he started working with the company.

"He told me that what you give you always get back in spades, so it is far easier to be helpful to people, even when you find yourself in difficult situations," he said. 

"It was surprising to me and really kind of humbling to be rewarded for just being yourself and doing your job," he added. 

The award citation said that Niall has received an enormous amount of positive feedback, citing two instances in particular where he went out of his way to help passengers. 

In one of these, a man from England, who had been due to catch a flight back to the UK from Cork airport, found himself on the Dublin-bound train and got off at Charleville. 

Niall checked to see what time the next bus to the city was leaving Charleville and took it upon himself to drive the man to Charleville town to get the bus, ensuring that he did not miss his flight. Another lady got in contact to praise Niall for the caring manner in which he helped her mother, who was travelling to Dublin to see her ill sister. 

"His sensitivity in this situation put the lady at ease as she faced her journey," read the citation. 

Niall said that on both occasions he tried to imagine what it would have been like had he or a family members been in the same situations. 

"My own mother is elderly, and I would like to think that someone would help her in the same way. The bottom line is you have to be human and, when people are under stress, be there to lend a helping hand," he said.